Several visits: 28 Dec, 2016; 16 Jan, 2017; 22 Jan, 2017; 28 Jan, 2017.
Perhaps the number of visits in such a short time is a giveaway. We enjoy this restaurant and they have some very different dishes. We have been for dinner, lunch, and brunch. For the first dinner and the lunch, we tried many of the small plates.
Small plate winner, hands down, is a delightful concoction called Kepta Duona; fingers rye bread crisply fired in duck fat then covered with melted havarti cheese. Sooooo addictive. The bar tender told us they are the Lithuanian equivalent of french fries. The chicken pâté is an unusual find; a thin smear on good rye toast sprinkled with pistachios and accompanied by a lovely gooseberry pickle and strawberry marmalade. The cabbage rolls were a delight; a very tender thin blanket of cabbage surrounding a mixture of beef, pork and rice and lightly covered with a very good pomodoro sauce. The Ruskie perogies stuffed with potatoes, cheese, and onions were very good. They were served with such a large smothering of mushrooms that the flavor was overwhelmed by the mushroom until I moved them to the side. I had a similar issue when we tried the braised beef perogies; the perogies were very good once you pushed aside the mushroom cover. The funeral potato casserole was also quite good, but again, a bit too heavy on the mushroom for me. We also enjoyed the white salad; an interesting twist on potato salad.
We all enjoyed the 1/2 duck, the meat was tender and moist and the elderberry sauce made it perfect. The chicken Kiev was a hit for taste; filled with plenty of lemon butter. The crust was very tasty and crunchy. Unfortunately, on the day I had it, the cook seemed to be over trying things as the bottom was actually burnt (as was the Kepta Duona that night). I am hoping this was a one off. Hay roasted lamb persillade was another success; the meat was a perfect medium rare. We did enjoy the unique presentation; a bed of smoldering straw.
Now for brunch. I had the smoked pork belly comfit crepes. I think they were very well made but I discovered that I do not like smoked pork belly as it just makes it thick cut bacon and I do not like bacon. Neither of us can recall J’s selection.
The only dessert that we have tried is Spurgos “Varškės”; basically a donut hole but made with cheese. They are coated with sugar and served with three dipping sauces; vanilla custard, strawberry marmalade, and chocolate hazelnut. They are quite nice.
The owner is very pleasant, makes the rounds and talks to the customers. It is clear that he cares about the quality of the foods he serves and he really wants you to enjoy your meal. He shared a bit of his history and told our server about a Lithuanian after dinner drink for J to enjoy; krupnikas (very sweet, made from honey).
Three out of four experiences had no faults, hence I will continue to return.