What to do in Riga? Go for a walk, of course — and also try local specialties at Gutenbergs and Neiburgs restaurants.
Both are located in the historic center of Riga, which is good for us.
See: Dome Square
If you start your trip from Jurmala, then there at the pier of Majori (Majori pier) take the river boat and set sail on the Daugava: you will go straight to the Riga Castle. Built in 1330 — an impressive structure. Now here is the workplace of the President of Latvia.
Walk through the castle, and then dive into the interweaving of narrow streets of the old city.
Our goal is Dome Square.
Go outside Maza Pils (M. Pils iela) to houses 17, 19 and 21.
Three brothers are living on it — three gingerbread houses of different eras: the elder one — of the XV century, the middle one — of the middle of the XVII century, and the younger one — of the end of the same XVII century.
Turn to the Dome Cathedral, it is near. Unfortunately, the cathedral itself until 2014 tightened green restoration grid. However, this is not an obstacle for organ concerts, and at least one should go.
Meanwhile, on the Dome square its own gastronomic life flows — from spring to autumn, numerous cafes, restaurants and bars open summer terraces here.
Dine: Restaurant Gutenbergs
Feeding your appetite, go to the restaurant Gutenbergs (Gutenbergs) at the same hotel.
It is located just to the right of the square, almost immediately behind the Dome Cathedral on Doma laukums Street, at No. 1 it is difficult to get lost.
The restaurant has two platforms: the main one is on the ground floor and the summer one is on the roof. The terrace offers a panoramic view of Old Riga, the Dome Cathedral and the tiled roofs of the city.
This is a rarity: there are practically no restaurants on the roof in Riga.
The menu has dishes with a French or Italian accent — but preference is given to the national Latvian cuisine and the freshest local products.
The end of July in Riga is the month of new potatoes, in August it is time for berries and mushrooms.
Therefore, you should pay attention to seasonal dishes.
As a snack, take deer meat carpaccio grown in Latvia with chanterelles in jelly and arugula salad, with cheese, seasoned with truffle oil.
Or a salad made from succulent garden vegetables with peanut sauce.
To continue the meal is fish soup, made from local fish: salmon, eel or sturgeon.
On the hot try flavored Latvian cheese with cumin.
It is served hot with roasted vegetables and a delicate sauce.
For meat lovers, there is a veal “Viennese schnitzel” on the menu with a side dish of carrots and green peas — delicious, like at home from my grandmother.
By the way, the Gutenbergs hotel is worth a note if you decide to come to Riga again: a good location in the center of the Old Town is complemented by a unique atmosphere.
The building was built in the XVI century, and there was a printing house.
The modern hotel, which took the patron saint of the famous German inventor of printing Johannes Gutenberg, is filled with the spirit of the place.
Each room is “inhabited” by cute antiques that you find completely random: a copper teapot on the windowsill, a ship’s bell on a wooden beam, a vintage barometer near a mirror, a lamp with a painted lampshade on the table and a porcelain candy bowl in the same place.
On the shelves are antique clocks, books and engravings.
Even the floor in some rooms with “history” is uneven and slightly sloping.
The decor of the room is due to the small number of rooms — there are only thirty-eight of them in the hotel.
Dinner: Restaurant Neuburgs
For dinner, it is worth moving to the Neiburgs restaurant (Jauniela 25/27). Go back to Dome Square, go around the street tables and turn into Jauniela Street. A small street — a vibrant cinematic past.
Behind the one-story house at number 22, in an inconspicuous abandoned courtyard, is "Sherlock Holmes House"filmed in the famous soviet film "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson".
Quite a few episodes were filmed on the street itself, which played the role of London’s Baker Street. And not only: turn to the odd side, and you will see the place where Professor Pleischner failed in the spy tv series. "Seventeen Moments of Spring".
However, memories will not be full.
The young chef of the Neiburgs restaurant, Tomass Godins, is somewhat similar to a conductor.
Instead of musical instruments — completely familiar, everyday ingredients that are available to each hostess.
Cottage cheese, beets, pumpkin, chicken liver, forest mushrooms, pearl barley.
Nevertheless, each product is literally transformed under the strict guidance of the maestro, and in the culinary ensemble it acquires its own unique sound.
Start dinner with some potato dishes — in July there is still a season for new potatoes.
An excellent choice is an oven-baked dairy calf fillet with potato galette, carrot puree and red wine sauce.
For game lovers, we recommend you to try the tender and juicy fillet of a wild duck stuffed with caramelized apples, with a side dish of cauliflower, sugar green peas and strawberry and red wine sauce.
For dessert — strawberry ice cream with summer berries — delight of the soul!
Another specialty of the Neuburgs restaurant is the old German dessert, served in a tall glass.
Exquisite dessert consists of alternating layers of crushed black bread, with the addition of honey and spices, curd cream and berries, soaked in liquor.