Valtera restaurant came with a recommendation from someone I met at Restaurant 3 the evening before. So of course I had to try it, especially since they also work mostly with local products. I think only the wine and other such things are coming from outside (reminds me of Metamorfoza in Gdansk; this must be a Northern thing). Valtera restaurant does have a nice á la carte selection with a couple of daily supplements. But I was all for the tasting menu.
First up was bread and butter with hempseed. I don’t know what’s with the hemp here but people are really into it. I have seen a couple of cheeses on the market with hemp.
Also what’s up with the creamed butter? I totally detest that. Why is this so popular? The taste of the butter is completely changed after creaming it and has more in common with margarine in my opinion. Can this deplorable custom stop again?
My first course was goat cheese with pana grata (grated bread) and umami. There was also some pestolike liquid around. The taste was fresh and similarly summerlike. The acidity of the goat cheese blended well with the pesto and the grated bread gave it a nice crunch. Yummy and ate it with the bread instead of the butter.
We moved on to grilled eggplant with tomatoes, surrounded by tomato sauce, topped with grated cheese and dried tuna flakes. Inside there was also some eggplant cream sauce. The dish tasted wonderful. Funnily enough there was no need for the tuna flakes. It would have worked just fine on its own.
The following third course was a cold yellow tomato soup with goat cheese and pana grata again. Although the ingredients were repeating themselves it tasted totally different. The soup was silky smooth with just a couple of diced tomato inside to give it a bite. The goat cheese must have been mixed with cream or so because it was just melting in the soup.
Next up was a trout ceviche with dill aioli and cucumbers which resembled little watermelon. Everything was fresh but overall the taste of the aioli was a bit overpowering. There was a hint of ginger in it too. The dish would have worked better without the mayonnaise. It was too heavy for the fish in my opinion.
My fifth course was fried sprats in tempura beer batter with smoked fish mayonnaise. The tempura was crunchy and the fish inside soft. But overall the whole thing was too oily. Very glad that it was only two sprats.
After that we moved on to the main dishes. The pike perch came with herbed mashed potatoes (chive) and dill. It also had some dark pink flowers (no idea what they are) which worked well with the fish. The white wine sauce made from fish stock was fabulous and elevated the whole dish.
Unfortunately the sun went down, so the next couple of pictures are rather dark. It also didn’t help that the food was suddenly served on black dinnerware. Before the meat course a palate cleanser came my way. The champagne butter sorbet will not be my favorite but it worked.
The next course was veal, with fresh horse-radish and horse-radish sauce, red currant jelly and watermelon radish. It felt like two different pieces of meat. Although when I asked, I was told that this was not the case. One piece was soft and tender, the other was steaklike and on the dry side. The red currant jelly was more wishful thinking. I didn’t get any acidity from it. Very interesting that the meat was again not to my taste. Maybe nordic cuisine works just better with fish?
For dessert I had a pear filled with almond cream. It came in combination with a Madeleine, served with coffee ice cream and wild berries. The dish worked well, especially the coffee ice cream. Astonishing, since usually I abhor coffee ice cream.
As a small goodbye treat I got a chocolate truffle with hemp seed served on a bear. Yes, that’s true. It was served on a bear. The hempseed had an almost rice crispy consistency and gave the truffle nice crunch. The truffle itself was rich and buttery and full of dark chocolate. Exactly how I like it.
The service was excellent and I liked how each dish was described in detail. Also, one time the chef himself served a dish and asked how I liked everything. I really felt well taken care of. Certainly one of the places you shouldn’t miss in Riga. Yours, Pollybert
1050 Riga, Miesnieku street 8
Tel: +37 1 2 9529200
Tue-Thu: 12:00–22:00, Fri-Sat 12:00–23:00