Nineteen18 is what happens when a love of the land meets a passion for culinary innovation. It is an intimate 42-seat restaurant, an improvised celebration of local tradition through innovative tasting menus. The restaurant takes its name from the year Lithuania regained independence, and head chef Matas Paulinas has created an environment that explores and highlights the rich culinary heritage of the region.
The food in Nineteen18 does not reflect the cuisine of a single region in Lithuania; rather, it is a combination of the best of those region’s closest to it, Aukštaitija and Dzūkija. And for every degustation menu he puts together, Chef Paulinas first does a deep dive into the region that acts as its inspiration, covering the region’s culture, history, geography, even stretching to its economy.
All the ingredients that make their way onto the dishes on the Nineteen18 menu have been carefully sourced from the restaurant’s farm – Farmers Circle – which is 75km from Nineteen18, near Ukmergė at Augustinų Dvaras (manor). “Nineteen18 is part of our farm and not the other way around,” explains the chef.
Although the Nineteen18 menu leans heavily on ingredients from the plant kingdom, there’s still much on offer for even the most jaded meat lover. There are meat choices on the dinner menu. However, vegetables have that versality that is so essential for creativity, and that is why you’ll find so many on the restaurant’s menu.
Along with a crack team of his fellow culinary professionals, the restaurant’s chef took on an important task – to uncover the identity of Lithuanian cuisine: “The goal is not to recreate old recipes. It is important to create something for the future. I believe that we are lacking a modern identity and our generation can help lay the foundation for that.” For those eager to be part of this journey of gastronomic discovery, or to experience the out of the ordinary – Nineteen18 is most definitely worth visiting.
The address is 11 Dominikonų st., Vilnius. To book a table, call +370 608 08 950, email email@example.com or use the restaurant’s web form.