Riga, Latvia: Restaurant Renomme at Gallery Park Hotel Riga

Rīga, Latvia
Gallery Park Hotel Riga Restaurant Renomme

In my first blog post about the award-winning 5* luxury boutique hotel Gallery Park Hotel Riga I've shown you why GPH Riga is the right choice for the discerning and sophisticated traveller who wants a luxurious, hospitable, and convenience stay that reflects the elegance of Riga, the European Capital of Culture 2014. Today's post follows up with Renommé, Gallery Park Hotel Riga's restaurant whose accolades for its Latvian culinary classics sees that this gourmet dining destination holds its own without needing to rest on the laurels of its prestigious hotel. 

Gallery Park Hotel Riga Restaurant Renomme

Renommé (French for renown) has the proud distinction of being the first restaurant from the Baltic States to be included in the Top 5 of The European 50 Best Restaurants. Renommé celebrates the identity of Latvian contemporary cuisine with their unconventional and creative combination of Latvian classics and French charm, with original dishes of their creation that change with their seasonal menu. Aficionados of fine French wine will be pleasantly surprised to discover that Renommé serves Château de Berne's distinctive rectangle bottles of rosé, white, and red. For those less inclined to the imbibing of the vine - such as yours truly who is allergic to wine - there are Latvian gastronomical delights such as Riga rye bread waffle stuffed with traditional Latvians fillings (herbed farmer's cheese, anchovies, fish roe and other delicacies), Renommé's trademark herb-encrusted pork chops with a wine and citrus sauce, and for desert; the classic warm pudding with Riga Black Balsam and caramel sauce. Even for those staying elsewhere in Riga, the restaurant is well worth the visit to Gallery Park Hotel - the evening I dined there I saw two parties who weren't guests of the hotel, I imagine they were there as appreciators of gourmet Latvian cuisine! 

Gallery Park Hotel Riga Restaurant Renomme

The restaurant's opulent interiors - elegantly set off by boissery wooden wall panels sourced from a  19th century French chateau and details such as framed collection of wine labels from the great French winery Chateau Mouton Rothschild - cohesively follows on to the adjacent bar (above) and throughout the hotel, which is collectively known for its eclectic yet classical approach to decor. I've mentioned in my Gallery Park Hotel Riga post that the hotel was formerly a yacht magnate's mansion, and this is reflected in the paintings in the bar of his ships, boats, and seafaring vessels.

Aficionados of fine French wine will be pleasantly surprised to discover that Renommé serves Château de Berne's distinctive rectangle bottles of rosé, white, and red. 

The amuse-bouche was a dainty and delicious fish cake that whetted our appetites for things to come.

I liked how the dark, airy butter is served with herbs to look like saplings growing from earth in a pot - it certainly added to the theme of 'down to earth' (hehe) food presented with clever little twists.

Gallery Park Hotel Riga Restaurant Renomme

I started with the smoked mackerel, served with potato cookie and caramelized red cabbage which felt like wholesome comfort food presented with flair.

Gallery Park Hotel Riga Restaurant Renomme

I loved the starter of Latvian beef Carpaccio with horseradish cream, caper berries, and parito cheese - I do love a good beef carpaccio and it was a pleasure to try it the Latvian way!

The slowly-cooked salmon fillet with beetroot tartar, again another modest and simple dish elevated with the precise preparation and careful balance of flavours in the dish's surprising combination of ingredients.

My second main - the roasted Latvian pork in herb crust and white wine lemon sauce. For such a simple-looking dish it was surprisingly good, the tender meat combined with the zest of the peppers, lemon, and herb was a winner and the crust gave me that satisfying feeling of eating 'guilty pleasure food' although instead of deep fried (as all guilty pleasures are) the pork was actually baked, which was a great deal healthier. I underestimated the density of the dish - the pork was 'flattened', how heavy could such a thin-looking meat be? - and halfway through I was completely full, I had to look on sadly as my main was taken away to make room for desert.

I eschewed the Baba au Balsam - I have never been able to handle liqueur soaked desert - for less intoxicating but no less delicious options.

Gallery Park Hotel Riga Restaurant Renomme

The basil cheese-cake with strawberries and mint. I've never had basil in a cheesecake before and I must say, it's brilliant - I want to recreate this at home! I had a more traditional desert of chocolate fondant with and unexpected twist - blue cheese ice-cream! This would be the perfect pudding to pair with red wine.

Gallery Park Hotel Riga Restaurant Renomme

I finished the meal with a serving of chewy biscuit light dusted with sugar.

I know that some of you have been swayed by my blog post on Things To Do In Riga and that at least two of you have been dropping your significant other hints about wanting to stay at Gallery Park Hotel Riga for Valentine's Day. You've also asked me about what Latvian cuisine is like and I hope this post has given you a taste of it, or better yet consider Renommé as one of your culinary destinations in Riga! Two courses are €34 (€44 with  2 wine glasses of Chateau de Berne) and three courses are €39 (€49 with 2 glasses of wine) - a bargain for a gourmet Latvian meal in an award-winnng restaurant in an award-winning luxury hotel in Europe! I definitely recommend Renommé if you want to sample 'Latvian Classics' in Riga. 

Photos 2 and 4 courtesy of Gallery Park Hotel Riga. 

Gallery Park Hotel Riga on Tripadvisor
Gallery Park Hotel Riga website 


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