Le Dome: a culinary gem in Riga

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nder the shadow of the massive Dome Cathedral, Le Dome fish restaurant is easy to miss. In stark contrast with the well-lit and bigger restaurants around Dome Square, its modest facade betrays the culinary magic happening in its kitchen.

The first thing you’ll notice is how limited the seating capacity is. We were lucky to still get a table, it was surprisingly quiet for a Friday evening. The dimly-lit interior promised a quiet meal among Scandinavian pensioners, judging from the conversations I’ve overheard from the diners occupying three of the eight tables. The staff was very pleasant and as soon as we were seated, a basket of bread appeared on the table immediately.

Rarely would you hear me praise bread and butter, the first items offered free in many restaurants. I usually skip them to reserve enough appetite for the main course. But at Le Dome, I had 2 servings of their rye bread with the most exquisite, creamiest butter topped with grounded black currant. The meal started off very well and it just got better.

Le Dome serves local, seasonal products and their specialty are fresh catch from the Baltic Sea. Herring seems to be a much-loved product here so for starters I had pickled Baltic herring smoked in rapeseed oil, pickled black currant, more rye bread and herring chips. It was a revelation. It was orgasmic and beyond my limited stash of superlatives, I couldn’t think of any more words to describe this dish.

My idea is that it wouldn’t take much effort for a chef to whip up excellent dishes from ingredients like Wagyu or Alaskan crabs because these are already quality products to begin with. But to turn a humble, poor man’s herring into an exquisite dish speaks a lot about a chef’s talent. While it may not be entirely surprising, because Chef Kristaps Silis trained at Noma in Denmark, I was still impressed by his creativity.

For main course I had assorted seafood – a garland of fresh tuna sashimi, grilled shrimp, octopus around a bed of cauliflower puree and coconut sauce – a meal so delicious that I took my time eating it, slowly savouring, pampering my palette with each and every bite of my meal, including thinly-sliced cauliflower roasted to perfection. I washed it down with sips of Vermentino de Sardegna, one of my favourite white wines.

Dessert? I skipped it altogether because I want to savour the lingering deliciousness of the seafood in my mouth. My colleague had rhubarb-almond cake, which he says reminded him of the rhubarb cake his Norwegian nanny used to make in summer time, a fitting compliment to the talent of Le Dome’s Chef Silis.

Le Dome restaurant
4 Miesnieku st, Riga
+371 67 559 884
www.domehotel.lv

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