Great news for gourmets in Cēsis and around it, whose appetite for more colourful, special, surprising food is growing! This year’s Autumn Restaurant Week will take place on 3–12 November, bringing together not only the flavours of Cēsis Municipality, but also people talented in culture, art, science, artisanal crafts and modern creative professions, resulting in surprising collaborations. Head chefs of restaurants will work with Cēsis Municipality celebrities to showcase rich autumn flavours, local foods, and their own talents. Their guests will get a unique opportunity to enjoy the magical fruits of labour and inspiration of people from Cēsis and its region. The motto of the upcoming Restaurant Week, ‘It’s a match!’, encapsulates the core idea of the event, reminding us that roots not only unite us, but also make us stronger.
During the week, restaurant guests will enjoy a three-course meal for a special price of EUR 35 per person. Guests of Cēsis Restaurant Week will also be able to participate in the contests announced by the restaurants and win a gift voucher for a meal for two.
H.E. Vanadziņš’ Northern Restaurant is located in the heart of the old town of Cēsis, in a beautiful wooden house that once belonged to the town’s mayor, physician Kārlis Vanadziņš.
On 8 and 9 November, Restaurant Week guests will have a chance to enjoy a unique experience, with a dinner in a romantic mood brought by the light of the candles made by Aiva Balode, the soul of “Gardenia Eco”.
The restaurant’s head chef Edgars Rubenis revealed: ‘I began putting down my roots in Cēsis, but Aiva and her family already has them deep in Piebalga’s soil. For this autumn event, we will create a special mood and make delicious food for every guest. H. E. Vanadziņš’ Northern Restaurant will offer cream of chanterelle soup with autumn vegetables. For the main course, its guests will be able to choose from three options: venison in a shiitake crust, smoked sterlet, or carrot and beetroot casserole. For dessert, there will be hot pumpkin ice cream with wafer crisps and maple syrup.
Jāņoga is a popular restaurant for the citizens of Cēsis and the tourists visiting it, known as a place where you can enjoy local foods in unusual variations. For Restaurant Week, head chef Jānis Sproģis, in tandem with the legendary Cēsis citizen Juris Žagars, has prepared a special offer that every gourmet will enjoy.
Juris Žagars revealed: ‘Jāņoga is undoubtedly a unique place for Latvia. Janis has an uncompromisingly creative personality, he’s an excellent cook, and everything on the menu is original and unique in its own way. I am prepared to travel here just to enjoy these unique flavour combinations again and again. And I’m not alone. I often bring and send my own guests from far away to Jāņoga, and they all remember it being really special afterwards.’
This time, Jāņoga restaurant will treat its guests to a wide range of autumn delicacies. They will have a choice of main courses: either venison loin with veal and mushroom terrine, or zander fillet ballotine served with sea scallop croquette and yellow beetroot pelmeni. For dessert, there will be dark chocolate and almond cake with cherry sauce and ice cream.
Located in the villa village of Amatciems and overlooking a lake, the restaurant of the Jonathan SPA Estate hotel serves unique cuisine created in conjunction with local farms.
During Restaurant Week, guests will be able to add Bitīšu honey to complement the flavour of their meals. The restaurant’s head chef Vadims Jevsejevs pointed out: ‘It is important for us to offer our client a product that has high value in everything, down to the finest detail, which is why we decided to work with Arvis Mozuļčiks.’
The Jonathan SPA Estate hotel restaurant will welcome its guests with venison pâté and brioche bread, with lingonberry mousse and hazelnuts. The main course will be slow-cooked duck with truffle and potato mash, and for dessert, the restaurant promises home-style mille-feuille with cider-caramelised apples.
Kannas restaurant is located in the restored Annas Manor, in a picturesque area at the top of a hill. Its head chef, Kristaps Sīlis builds the restaurant’s menu using local foods, seeking to reveal the unique flavours of each ingredient.
Together with Raivis Apsītis, owner of the ‘Dzērbenes foreles’ fish farm in Piebalga, he created the offer for Autumn Restaurant Week.
Sīlis emphasised: ‘I believe that every chef should challenge themselves and experiment more with local foods, using high-quality ingredients that come from our own land and our own waters. Trout grown in the ponds of the Dzērbene floodplains that were not in cages or restricted in any way, are an excellent item that we will offer to gourmets together with the family-run fish farm “Dzērbenes foreles” during Cēsis Restaurant Week.’
Kannas restaurant will serve rainbow trout fillet in pickled beetroot and quince gel as a starter. The main course will be sturgeon fillet with Jerusalem artichokes and apples. For dessert, the restaurant will offer buckwheat ice cream with chocolate cream and a touch of coffee.
Kārļamuiža hotel’s restaurant is located in the old valley of the River Amata, and it offers country manor cuisine.
The Restaurant Week menu and serving table design were created by head chef Baiba Stepiņa, together with her friend and event producer Gundega Skudriņa, who noted: ‘It is a great pleasure for me to work with my neighbour Baiba: she is a master of her trade and the true heart and soul of Kārļamuiža. Restaurant Week guests will experience the special mood of Kārļamuiža manor and discover the story of the dinner we created together.’
Kārļamuiža hotel’s restaurant will serve cream of parsnip and chestnut soup as a starter. For the main course will be two options: venison burger or vegetarian bulgur. The dessert will be an interpretation of the chocolate potatoe, evoking the taste of childhood.
The Mango Sky Lounge restaurant is located on the sixth floor of Vidzeme Concert Hall, with a magical view of the old town of Cēsis.
Its guests will be offered a delicious daiquiri cocktail, created in conjunction with lifestyle blogger Kristīne Danenbergsone. The influencer revealed: ‘The idea was to join our forces with Mango Sky Lounge, to share our favourite flavours and create something new and original, but at the same time based on what we already know, love, and have tried.’
Mango Sky Lounge restaurant will have something to offer for vegans as well as omnivores. The appetiser will be roasted beetroot salad with goat’s cheese and nuts or vegan cream of chanterelle soup. For the main course, guests will be able to choose between roasted pork ribs with seasonal vegetables and pumpkin mash with soya meat sauce. For dessert, there will be an autumnal meringue or a multigrain tartlet with blackcurrants.
The ‘Pavāru māja Līgatnē’ restaurant is located in the historical centre of Līgatne Paper Mill, in the renovated building of Līgatne Maternity House, surrounded by the Nature Watchers’ Garden. Its special Restaurant Week offer, prepared by head chef Juris Dukaļskis, will be served in special tableware created by Artis Nīmanis, a glass artist from Cēsis and creator of the ‘an & angel’ brand.
Artis Nīmanis noted: ‘We have worked with ‘Pavāru māja’ for a long time, creating various glass objects and containers for the restaurant, so we all encourage you to go on an aesthetic adventure of flavour for this autumn’s Restaurant Week.’
The ‘Pavāru māja Līgatnē’ restaurant offers autumn roots, Rehtšprehera cheese, and hazelnut and malt cream. For the main course, the head chef will serve Lake Burtnieks zander with caramelised carrots in quince. The sweet course will include a sea-buckthorn dessert with brioche leavened with ‘Pavāru māja’ honey. The restaurant will also offer a vegetarian menu, with a main course of mashed beans with kale and fermented cucumbers from the Zutiņi farm.
Ungurmuiža is a group of wooden buildings in Raiskums Parish, which is included on the list of Latvian cultural heritage sites.
The restaurant’s head chef Signija Skrastiņa has created a very Latvian menu in conjunction with talented musician and composer Kaspars Zemītis. In the afternoon on 5 November, Restaurant Week guests will enjoy not only the gastronomic but also musical delights, with a solo concert by Kaspars Zemītis.
Kaspars Zemītis noted: ‘I like simple, Latvian, and unpretentious things, so we designed this offer to make the cold autumn nights warmer.’
Ungurmuiža restaurant will begin its nights of flavour with spicy carrot soup, accompanied by feta cheese and toasted bread baked in-house. For the main course, a manor gratin will be served with either a slice of pork or a selection of cheeses. For dessert, the guests will taste the autumn, with apple cheesecake.
The Villa Santa restaurant is located in one of the three hotel villas, offering its guests a chance to enjoy the nostalgic touch of traditional Latvian cuisine up high among the treetops. Its Restaurant Week offer was created in conjunction with the local entrepreneur Agnis Elperis, owner of ‘Cēsu maize’.
Santa Anča, owner of Villa Santa, revealed: “Our work with the local bakery, “Cēsu maize”, demonstrates our respect for true values: the power of the grain. In late summer, I always look with emotion and respect at the men threshing wheat, exhausted by the sun. It is sacred and life-affirming work to me. This is why bread is the theme of this autumn’s Restaurant Week here.”
Agnis Elperis noted: ‘I know that food is not just something that nourishes you: it also gives you a warm feeling. So we’ll create what is not only food but also something that leaves the best memories of Cēsis for all the people who come to Villa Santa during Restaurant Week.’
The Villa Santa hotel restaurant will first serve the chef’s compliment, followed by cream of pumpkin soup with croutons. There will be three options for the main course, and to top it off, a modern take on the classic rye-bread layered dessert with meringue topping will delight the guests.
Zaķīši hotel’s restaurant is situated in a picturesque location on the shore of Lake Raiskums. Guests of its restaurant can enjoy authentic Chinese food every day.
During the autumn Restaurant Week, thanks to collaboration with musician and expert on local lore Miks Dukurs, the restaurant’s guests will not only take a delicious trip to Asia but also enjoy a musical performance on 4 November.
Miks Dukurs noted: ‘I am happy to have this great opportunity to support my neighbour and local businesses, making my own contribution to setting the mood.’
The appetiser options at the Zaķīši hotel restaurant will include a cold meat platter with vegetables and seafood soup, with crispy duck served with vegetables and rice for the main course. A banana and apple dessert is planned as the final course.
Restaurant 1815 is a family-run restaurant located in the oldest building of Līgatne: the town’s original paper mill.
Its special offer for Restaurant Week was created by head chef Jānis Rullis together with infectologist Ieva Tolmane, who made a healthy menu with vegetarian options.
Ieva Tolmane revealed: ‘For me as a vegetarian and a physician, it’s important to have a balanced and healthy diet, and with this event, we want to show people that they can sit in a restaurant and enjoy a meal inspired by nature that is pleasing to the eye and the body.’
Restaurant 1815 will bring a diverse menu with the chef’s compliment including a quince aperitif and porcini pâté in a filo pastry crust. For appetisers, the guests will be able to choose between chanterelle cream soup or venison carpaccio, while three options will be offered for the main course: Lake Burtnieks zander with autumn root vegetables, beef with sweet potato casserole or autumn pie with goat’s cheese. For dessert, the guests will enjoy date pudding with salted rosemary caramel and sour cream mousse.
Photos: Anete Rudmieze
Design: Anete Lasmane