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HomeLithuaniaMichelin-starred Lithuania restaurants flooded with visitors, promise not to raise prices

Michelin-starred Lithuania restaurants flooded with visitors, promise not to raise prices

Following the award of Michelin stars to four Lithuanian restaurants and the inclusion of 30 others in the prestigious guide, restaurant managers say that they have been inundated with calls from potential customers and that their reservation systems crashed on Thursday evening.

“Some 5-10 minutes after the ceremony, our reservation system just stopped working. The phone kept ringing; lots of inquiries and messages. It’s very noticeable,” Paulius Matusevicius, director of the Michelin-starred restaurant Dziaugsmas in Vilnius, told BNS on Friday.

However, restaurant managers interviewed by BNS say that they do not plan to increase prices after the recognition, at least for now.

Evalda Siskauskiene, head of the Lithuanian Association of Hotels and Restaurants, notes that Lithuania stands out among the Baltic countries with its number of Michelin Guide-recommended restaurants, and restaurant managers anticipate a growing number of tourists.

The guide’s compilers announced in Vilnius on Thursday that four Lithuanian restaurants – Demo, Dziaugsmas, Nineteen18 and Pas Mus Restoranas – had been awarded One Michelin Star.

In total, the inaugural Michelin Guide Lithuania recommends 34 restaurants, they said.

Tadas Eidukevicius, head chef of the Michelin-starred Demo, noted that the impact of the recognition is already evident.

“We immediately see increased interest and a significantly higher number of reservations,” he told BNS.

The head chef of Demo, which opened in Vilnius’ central Naujamiestis area two years ago, said that although major tourist flows have bypassed the restaurant until now, about half of its guests are foreigners, many from Scandinavia.

Eidukevicius believes that the Michelin recognition will help attract more tourists who appreciate good gastronomy.

“The Michelin Guide is part of the country’s marketing strategy aimed at foreign tourism markets. It will bring tourism potential to the entire country,” he said.

Niels Peter Pretzmann, CEO at Farmers Circle, the owner of Red Brick, described the Michelin Green Star awarded to the restaurant both an acknowledgment and a business opportunity.

Pretzmann said that interest in Red Brick has surged recently, noting that the restaurant has attracted attention not only from Michelin but also from television, with a show recently filmed on its grounds.

“The number of reservations is growing very fast,” he told BNS.

The organic farm, located in the district of Ukmerge, 85 kilometers from Vilnius, also has a hotel, event space, and a local produce store.

The Michelin Green Star is awarded for sustainable practices. According to Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite, only 500 dining establishments worldwide have received this star.

Indre Rageleviciene, director of Stikliai, a Vilnius restaurant recommended in the Michelin Guide, said she has not yet noticed increased interest but expects it.

She said it is now important for Lithuania to ensure that foreign visitors can travel to the country conveniently and quickly by plane or other means of transport.

Paulius Zekonis, director of Numan, a Kaunas restaurant that received the Michelin Bib Gourmand distinction, said the recognition will help communicate the restaurant’s new concept.

Zekonis also heads Elven, a Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant in Vilnius.

“In Vilnius, we expect the number of visitors to double, and in Kaunas, I’m not sure because the restaurant isn’t new. We hope those who have forgotten us will rediscover us, and those who haven’t tasted our food yet will come,” he said.

Siskauskiene: Lithuania stands out, more tourists expected

Siskauskiene said that Lithuania stands out among the Baltic countries in terms of the number of Michelin Guide recognitions.

The head of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants said that in the context of the Baltic countries, Lithuania looks particularly good as it has as many Michelin-starred restaurants as Latvia and Estonia combined.

The official believes that this might be due to Lithuania having more cities and towns and more good restaurants.

“We have a larger geography. When we think of Latvia, we somehow associate it with Riga and Jurmala, but Lithuania encompasses the entire country. This is very important because, wherever you go, whether it’s a small town or Klaipeda, there are good restaurants,” she said.

Siskauskiene expects Lithuania to benefit greatly from this recognition.

The Economy and Innovation Ministry told BNS earlier that Lithuania had paid over 1.5 million euros, not including VAT, over three years, to have Michelin inspectors visit the country.

Michelin awarded a star to Latvia’s Max Cekot Kitchen last November. Estonia’s NOA Chef’s Hall and 180 by Matthias Diether each received a star in the summer of 2022.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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