Ertlio Namas serves Lithuanian cuisine from the 15-18th century in the heart of the Vilnius. The restaurant sits in a historical building from the 17th century. It was also just around the corner from my hotel. The dishes reflect the Lithuanian upper class taste from the past. Of course upper class or aristocracy, because no peasant for sure was allowed to eat beaver. But we will come to this interesting course later.
I arrived on time with my reservation in hand only to realize that I had made it for the day before. The hostess looked perturbed, but my waitress took it in strive and lead me upstairs to my table. The back room was a bit crowded with three tables for four and three tables for two persons. The music was also quite loud and I wondered how it would pan out when the room got full. I sat on a couch, looking into the room, which was just a tad too low to be comfortable enough for me to sit at the table.
The meal started with a glass of kvass, some homemade bread with buckwheat sunflower seeds, and butter with blueberry powder. The bread felt dense and a bit wet. As lovely as the butter looked, its very subtle flavor got lost on the bread.
The first course was the above mentioned beaver in form of a pâté. It came with some kind of raspberry sauce on top, some lattice work made of unknown substance, and the little green dots were a kind of dill sauce. It tasted weird at first. Very intense, almost like deer. But when I ate it together with the dense bread all of a sudden it was really interesting. Especially when I took not only the pâté, but the extras on top as well. Then it was really lovely. The beaver was paired with a rose Prosecco from the Veneto, which I first thought too prickly, but really it fit with the beaver.
Next came a crayfish soup with Vino Verde from Portugal. The wine smelled like a wet rags (I think they called it mineral) but tasted great. There was a bunch of oats inside and carrot cream spots. The soup was parsnips and carrots. The crayfish dumpling was covered with dill flower and dill oil. Quite lovely, maybe a bit much of the oats. But I guess you need some filling ingredients. Overall tasty though and the wine worked well.
I had the same wine with the guinea fowl which was my favorite course. I loved the crunchy bit on top of the meat and the reduction of bone broth and chanterelle. With chanterelle, squash, and carrots on the side there was also a spoonful of pea and mint cream (lots of cream here and probably something else) and a little ball of fried and breaded chanterelle. An amazing dish! There were also pine needles which I didn’t taste but the lemon verbena was delicious.
For dessert I got a raspberry mead to drink and a blueberry cake with a symphony of berries to eat. Honey meringue at the bottom with raspberry ice cream, blueberry cream with a white chocolate ball, and the blueberry cake which had a slightly chewy texture plus a biscuit on top with a halved blueberry and another lemon verbena leaf. Very fresh, very tasty!
The meal ended with a raspberry white chocolate praline. Overall a very interesting dinner. Who knew that beaver was so tasty? I appreciated the thoughtfulness which went into every dish, the process was explained to me by my waitress. Service was excellent and my waitress even provided my with a list of must-see sites in Lithuania. Not only are you eating like aristocracy, you are also treated like one at Ertlio Namas. Yours, Pollybert
01123 Vilnius, Šv. Jono g. 7
Tel: +370 637 33300