MICHELIN Guide Ceremony 6 minutes 13 June 2024

Lithuania's First MICHELIN Guide Is Unveiled!

Discover the first restaurants to be added to the selection, from Michelin Stars and great value Bib Gourmands to sustainable Green Stars

Michelin is pleased to present the debut edition of The MICHELIN Guide Lithuania, whose launch completes The MICHELIN Guide trilogy to the Baltic Countries. The Michelin Inspectors have spent the past year scouring the country in search of its best restaurants. In total, the inaugural MICHELIN Guide Lithuania recommends 34 restaurants, including four awarded One Michelin Star; four highlighted with a Michelin Bib Gourmand for their great quality, great value cooking; and one recognized with a Michelin Green Star, for being a role model when it comes to sustainable gastronomy.

One Michelin Star – Džiaugsmas in Vilnius
One Michelin Star – Džiaugsmas in Vilnius

4 Restaurants Receive One Star

Michelin Stars are awarded to restaurants within The MICHELIN Guide selection that offer the most outstanding cooking, taking into account five universal criteria: the quality of the ingredients; the harmony of flavors; the mastery of techniques; the personality of the chef as expressed through their cuisine; and, just as importantly, consistency both across the entire menu and over time.

Demo in Vilnius is a ground-breaking operation which takes the form of a café during the day and then morphs into a restaurant on certain evenings; its monochrome décor is an echo of the equal measures of boldness and restraint found in the cooking. Chef-Owner Tadas is wise beyond his years and looks at ingredients and food in a different way to most. His two imaginative set menus create excitement at every course and the dishes are well matched by some interesting wine pairings. The Michelin Inspectors found the suckling lamb to be a highlight, as well as the desserts – particularly the Kogel Mogel.

Džiaugsmas sits within a fine period house in the very center of Vilnius and comprises several modern, industrial style dining rooms spread about the building. Sharing plates lead the way on the à la carte, but the Michelin Inspectors particularly enjoyed Chef Martynas’ tasting menu, which came with snacks such as a doughnut with black pudding and mains like halibut with shrimp mousse. They found the dishes easy to eat, with a pared-back style that allowed the flavors of the core ingredients to shine through, creating a truly memorable experience.

Vilnius’ historic center plays host to a lovely courtyard of shops and eateries, all owned by the same team, with the flagship being Nineteen18, a lovely industrial-style restaurant with a refreshingly laid-back feel. The kitchen counter is the place to sit, allowing interaction with Chef Andrius and his genial team. The evening starts with guests being given a sealed menu which comprises a series of around 10 dishes that flow effortlessly into one another. Their farm plays a pivotal role when it comes to the produce and the team’s pride at using their own ingredients can be tasted on the plate. The Michelin Inspectors particularly enjoyed the dumplings with mushrooms – made using Andrius’ mother’s recipe – and the beautifully cooked Danish beef with a wonderful chicken caramel.

The final Michelin Star for Vilnius comes in the form of Pas mus, which loosely translates as ‘our house’ and sums up the place perfectly. A truly special spot run by Chef-Owner Vita and her lovely team, it exudes passion and energy, as they do everything they can to make the experience thoroughly enjoyable. Candles drip on the walls, guests sit at fine wooden tables made by Vita’s partner, and the dishes have personality and purpose. The menu is a seasonal surprise – Vita regularly raids her mum’s garden for produce, as well as going foraging – and the innovative dishes blend together seamlessly, along with the characterful wines. The Michelin Inspectors found the raspberry snow dessert with white chocolate ganache to be heavenly.

Michelin Bib Gourmand – Gaspar's in Vilnius
Michelin Bib Gourmand – Gaspar's in Vilnius

4 Restaurants Receive a 'Bib'

Named after the Michelin Man – whose official name is Bibendum – the Bib Gourmand distinction highlights restaurants which offer good quality food at a moderate price.

The unusually named 14Horses is a well-run restaurant set within the same Vilnius complex as Michelin-Starred Nineteen18, and has a sleek, pared-back look and a relaxed vibe. Here, many of the dishes are brought to the table by the chef himself, who proudly shows off ingredients from their regenerative farm in Radiškis. There’s certainly value on the cards: guests receive bread, four courses and a pre-dessert – with the flexibility to choose either three starters or two starters and a dessert. Bold, well-defined flavors are delivered in original combinations, and the staff are happy to advise. The MICHELIN Inspectors particularly loved the ‘beef from nose-to-tail’.

On the border of Vilnius’ Old and New Town sits Gaspar’s, a neighborhood restaurant with a long history as an eatery – there’s even an original Yiddish restaurant sign above the door, as this was once the Jewish Quarter. Chef Gaspar Fernandes was born in Goa, India, but is of Portuguese heritage, so his cuisine is an intriguing blend of the two countries. The menu is concise, driven by the produce available and subtle Indian spicing, and dishes are generous and beautifully presented. The MICHELIN Inspectors enjoyed “My Mum’s Curry” – which is available in several varieties – and the naan bread made using locally milled whole wheat flour, which adds a unique nuttiness to the flavor.

Le Travi, also in Vilnius, is a lovely little restaurant that is quickly becoming a go-to spot for an enjoyable and great value night out. Mattia – a native of Genoa – has created a wonderfully authentic osteria split over two rooms, with a cramped, rustic style; guests should ask for a seat at the counter to watch the magic happen. This is ‘nonna’-style cooking with a pure Italian heart, nothing too fancy, just straightforward dishes that burst with flavor. The menu of 8 or so dishes is written on the walls – the MICHELIN Inspectors recommend the wonderful ox tongue with tonnata sauce or the daily made pasta, which might include tagliatelle with a rich ragu.

Moving out to Kaunas, you’ll find history oozing from the walls of a lovely building which has housed everything from a butcher’s shop to this discreet little bistro, Nüman. Set just outside the city center, it has a charming, understated feel and the stunning photos on the walls draw the eye. Modern, flavor-led dishes are cooked with flair and, pleasingly, won’t break the bank. The MICHELIN Inspectors thought the homemade bread and the duck dumplings with dried mushrooms were superb, along with the guinea fowl, which was accompanied by some wonderfully cooked fries. Friendly service rounds out the whole experience.

Michelin Main Selection – Stebuklai in Vilnius
Michelin Main Selection – Stebuklai in Vilnius

Main Selection

Being selected for The MICHELIN Guide is a sign of quality in itself. In this inaugural year, 26 restaurants – whose top-drawer cuisine really impressed the Michelin Inspectors – join the main selection. These are:

Amandus, Vilnius
Apvalaus Stalo Klubo, Trakai
Arrivée, Kaunas
Augustin, Vilnius
Da Antonio, Vilnius
DIA, Kaunas
Dine, Vilnius
elven, Vilnius
Ertlio Namas, Vilnius
Fabrikėlis, Vilnius
Farmer & The Ocean, Vilnius
Gastronomika, Vilnius
HeJi, Vilnius
Justa Pasta, Vilnius
Momo Grill, Vilnius
monai, Klaipėda
Monte Pacis, Kaunas
Pacai, Vilnius
Protėviai, Vilnius
Red Brick, Radiškis
Somm, Vilnius
Stebuklai, Vilnius
Stikliai, Vilnius
Telegrafas, Vilnius
Uoksas, Kaunas
Vila Komoda, Palanga

Michelin Green Star – Red Brick in Radiškis
Michelin Green Star – Red Brick in Radiškis

1 Restaurant Awarded a Green Star

The Michelin Green Star highlights restaurants at the forefront of the industry when it comes to their sustainable practices – restaurants which offer dining experiences that combine culinary excellence with outstanding eco-friendly commitments and are a source of inspiration both for keen foodies and the hospitality industry as a whole.

An hour north of the capital, in Radiškis, sits the Farmers Circle, a wonderfully remote 1,730 acre working farm, and at its center sits this beautifully restored period barn, now home to the Red Brick restaurant. Naturally, the majority of the produce comes from the farm itself, with the rest sourced nearby. Chef Arnór’s tasting menu is modern and hyper-seasonal, fully embracing the sustainable approach; elegant snacks are followed by the likes of skrei with chicken sauce, then maybe mint, sea buckthorn and carrots – all of which will tantalize the tastebuds. The dishes are explained by the genial team – sometimes by the chefs themselves – and there are cozy bedrooms for a complete overnight package. The Michelin Inspectors found this to be a highly enjoyable dining experience from start to finish, enhanced by the interaction with the chefs.

Michelin Main Selection – Pacai in Vilnius
Michelin Main Selection – Pacai in Vilnius

3 Michelin Special Awards Presented

The Michelin Special Awards are given to outstanding individuals who, thanks to their infinite passion and considerable skills, can make a restaurant experience unforgettable.

This year's winners are:

Young Chef Award – Tadas Eidukevičius of Demo, Vilnius

As well as restaurant Demo receiving One Michelin Star for its outstanding cooking, its Head Chef Tadas Eidukevičius also takes the title of Young Chef of the Year. Having gained experience with some big names in Spain, Tadas is now a confident and compelling driving force at Demo, and he is certainly wise beyond his years. Tadas’ outlook is all about respect; he sees ingredients and menus in a refreshingly different way to most, and speaks prophetically about the future of food. His innovative, original cooking is balanced and flavorsome, and a huge amount of talent shines through in each dish. The Michelin Inspectors see a bright future ahead for this talented chef.

Service Award – Gaspar Fernandes of Gaspar’s in Vilnius

Gaspar’s enters The Guide this year with a Bib Gourmand award for its great quality, great value cooking; but that’s not all, as Chef-Owner Gaspar Fernandes is also the recipient of the Service Award for 2024. It might seem unusual for a chef to win a service award, but here at this small neighborhood restaurant Gaspar leads not just his kitchen team but the entire operation, so you’ll find him out on the floor as well as behind the stoves. His palpable enthusiasm and genuine desire to please permeate throughout his team, who the Michelin Inspectors found to operate more like a family than colleagues. From the moment guests walk through the door to the moment they leave, they will experience service that is charming, engaging, and filled with love.

Sommelier Award – Kamilė Bartusevičiūtė of Pacai in Vilnius

Set on the ground floor of a historic hotel, Pacai has a slightly retro feel and offers cooking with a strong Lithuanian base. To accompany this, Sommelier Kamilė Bartusevičiūtė has compiled a superb wine list comprising some serious reds from France and Italy, which are part of a strong global selection. There are some notable wines available by the glass, and her whole team are happy to discuss and recommend options, with their knowledge really impressing the Michelin Inspectors. Pairings are carefully thought through and explained with passion – and work particularly well thanks to regular tastings organized in conjunction with the kitchen team. While Kamille works hard to ensure the whole team maintain her high standards, her joy and enthusiasm spread naturally throughout her team.

Congratulations to all those selected as part of The MICHELIN Guide Lithuania 2024!

View the full restaurant listings for Lithuania here on The MICHELIN Guide website or on the free iOS/Android app.

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MICHELIN Guide Ceremony

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