Each participating restaurant will offer a unique perspective for the special anniversary, including various compliments of the chef, main dishes and desserts. All of them will have a Lithuanian twist, but each is a unique creation of the modern Lithuania. You have plenty of time; the gourmet feast takes place in Vilnius from 4 March to 6 July.
30 years ago, on 11 March 1990, news about Lithuania’s restored independence spread throughout the world. On this day, Lithuania took a new step and reinvented itself as a country merging its traditions with wonderful new opportunities. Taking the time to celebrate freedom of expression, creativity, and imagination is a perfect way to rejoice in the country’s independence.
The gourmet celebration will end on another important day for Lithuania – 6 July is Statehood Day, which serves to commemorate the coronation of Mindaugas in 1253 as the only King of Lithuania.
To us, independence is not only about freedom and sovereignty, but also responsibility, opportunity, freedom of choice and diversity. Thus, in creating our celebratory dish we started off by choosing ingredients sourced from Lithuanian growers. Plus, we wanted the dish to reflect one of the symbols of Lithuania – the tricolour. As such, the dish is dominated by three different yet mutually compatible flavours – mild, sweet and sour.
We are offering guests a rabbit confit served with an apple-parsnip purée, grilled baby corn, roasted carrots, cranberry sauce and kale chips.
Lithuania is majestic, independent and strong, just like the waves of the Baltic Sea. Therefore, the taste of independence is perfectly reflected in scallops (Coquilles Saint-Jacques cuites â la poêle), pairing a delicate sea flavour with our restaurant’s French spices, which you can taste right in the heart of Vilnius.
Cherished as a piece of Lithuanian national heritage, skilandis is pork belly stuffed with minced meat served with some of the most historically Lithuanian ingredients – beetroot and buckwheat with apples. Each guest having dinner at our restaurant will be treated with chef’s compliment!
A tricoloured Pavlova served with mascarpone, whipped cream, and a raspberry and passion fruit sauce with berries.
We associate this light, tender and crisp dessert with the fragility of freedom that the Republic of Lithuania has regained. We created this dessert by inviting our guests to enjoy Lithuania’s freedom as well as each other’s company.
Probably my biggest nightmare from Soviet times is when my mom would ask me to queue at the butcher shop for more than an hour to buy some pork. We rarely ate beef or lamb. Therefore, for me, independence, among other possibilities, is the freedom to choose products here and now according to our own desires and capabilities. And as the celebration of independence for me is always associated with bonfires, we will prepare lamb chops over a bonfire for the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuanian independence.
It’s not easy to say exactly what Lithuanian cuisine or a Lithuanian dish is. Gastronomy is a particularly multicultural area and it’s probably easier to describe what Lithuanian cuisine is to me personally. It’s simple, stated, delicious homemade food. It’s food made by my parents and grandparents, who learned from their parents and grandparents and added their own personal touch.
Simplicity is what inspired this dish – a boiled scone (or what our grandmothers used to call ’lazankos’) with pork belly and horseradish sauce. Traditionally, it was eaten with toasted slices of bacon, onions and sour cream. I allowed myself to innovate this popular ancient dish and make it more modern and suitable to the contemporary palate. I hope this will be an unexpected and enjoyable discovery for you. Enjoy (‘skanaus’)!
Although independence gives us different feelings, we cultivate a unique connection with our country and have individual connections to its past and present. As such, every time we celebrate national holidays, especially anniversaries, we have a great opportunity to unite, remember, celebrate, and share memories, love, and joy.
For example, employees of the sushi restaurant Rise, located on Gedimino Ave. 43 in Vilnius, are extremely excited to have the opportunity to create, introduce and cook Japanese cuisine using exotic products, and to have shared this joy with guests for over three years. As part of this celebration, they will offer you a taste of the three-coloured Uramaki with salmon, cucumber, avocado, yellow radish and tempura chips! Visit and celebrate Lithuania!
Want to experience a journey of independence? Try Riverside’s interpretation of it, which is inspired by the colours of the Lithuanian flag. An appetiser of mackerel with caramelised onions and horseradish cream will bring you to the Baltic coast with a hint yellow. The main course, pork belly with a parsnip puree and Brussels sprouts represent the green in the flag, and also alludes to ancient times in the countryside. Finally, red is represented in the dessert, which includes local lingonberries and a fundamental part of any Lithuanian meal – black bread. There’s a twist, though – it’s actually black bread ice cream.
Baltic Spritz – Taste of all three Baltic Countries
The cocktail tasting culture has been around for as long as Lithuania independence. A bit more than 100 years ago, Americans began to delve into mixology. Around the time Lithuania began to rebuild its country; an independent, free country.
This cocktail thus celebrates freedom and independence. A splash of different flavours from each of the three Baltic countries are mixed together to create a refreshing and fruity cocktail that will take you to a summer meadow by the lake, enjoying warmth and friendship.
Indeed, we can cope without creativity, but it helps us keep our self-respect because it proves that our hands and feet are free from everyday worries. They are evidence of our freedom. So, first and foremost, independence for me is a gift that lets us use other gifts.
Creamy cottage cheese balls on the map of Lithuania, with quince, raspberries, blueberry gel and biscuit.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuanian independence, our dessert boutique is honouring Lithuania with a three-flavoured tricolour cake. The cake echoes the colours of the Lithuanian flag, the main symbol of our beloved state!
I chose this dish because it reminds me of my childhood. Lithuanians have always used this technique of cooking root vegetables in embers or coal for ages. Potatoes are relatively new to our cuisine but what makes it exceptionally Lithuanian is the combination of kefir, dill and salted pork fat to compliment the charred potatoes.
Fresh local pike-perch cutlet with mashed potatoes, buttered carrots and leek. This special dish is made using fresh fish and following an ancient recipe. The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, preserving the authenticity of our national identity!