Restaurant Review: Meridianas, Klaipeda - Photo credit: ihc2015.info, edition by Amber255 via bitLanders.com
On many postcards of Klaipeda city, you can see a white beautiful ship - barquentine, quietly sailing at the shore of Dane river. This ship long ago became a part of the city's landscape. It's a symbol of Klaipeda city. But does only a symbol?
In childhood, Klaipeda to me has always been associated with the large white barquentine Meridianas. Yes, I was not born here; just started living here after finished secondary school, and although have been there many times in my childhood, I have never been inside. Looked at this white ship with a childish interest and imagined what could be inside.
Everyone in Klaipeda considers Meridianas as a city's symbol. A few years ago, barquentine was refurbished and again could stay at the shores of Dane river in the center of Klaipeda downtown. The fish restaurant was opened there, and every citizen wanted to visit it as soon as possible.
The restaurant Meridianas is a legendary place of the port city, which has been awakening nostalgic memories for many years and breathes with the seemingly unique spirit of Klaipeda. For many years already Meridianas is an amazing part of Klaipeda city's landscape and even is considered as a symbol of our city. But probably still not everyone knows barquentine's story.
Unique outside and inside interior, that made my dining much more interesting experience. For me it is not only about what you eat, it matters where you eat. And that’s the place to go to!
Credit: review from tripadvisor.co.uk
History of Barquentine Meridianas
The barquentine Meridianas was built long ago in Finland at 1948, and even for twenty years the vessel sailed through the seas as an educational sailing boat and served as a school for future sailors and captains.
In 1968, our barquentine stopped sailing, but its story not only did not end at this point but got a new life - it went to our Klaipeda. Here Meridianas was handed over to the port's canteen, restaurant, and café trust. After the ship was reconstructed and adapted for public catering, the ship was moored at the Dane river quay and soon became a restaurant.
Lithuanian restaurants: Meridianas - Photo credit:youtube.com
However, the unsupervised and unrepaired sailboat eventually dwindled so that it barely sank into the bottom of the river. A few years ago the ship was acquired by two Klaipeda businessmen. On their initiative and investment, the ship was refurbished. To raise up the barquentine to the new life did cost about 7 million litas (at this time, we still had litas as native money, not Euro).
At the end of July in 2014, the spectacular event was presented to Klaipeda residents and city guests just before the Sea Festival - the ceremony of Meridianas barquentine sails lift. Then the ship was consecrated and symbolically transferred to the city. In total, Meridianas has 14 sails with a total area of almost 700 sq. meters. When this barquentine was sailing in the sea, future sailors and captains studied there the seafaring secrets. Keeping the tradition, now Meridianas sails are raised annually by Lithuanian high school of seafarers.
The Meridianas internal deck was opened just before the major city's festival of the year. The shareholders of Meridianas foundation arranged a luxury restaurant with a marine exposition.
The Klaipeda citizens brought all exhibits to the barquentine from their homes. Among the donated items are the old ship steering-wheels, and the aprons of the waiters who worked here a few decades ago, and even the old Meridianas tableware' smithereens found at the bottom of Dane.
The dinner together with history at restaurant Meridianas - Video credit: youtube.com
The luxurious restaurant is set in the barquentine's inside deck. After restoration, it looks much more beautiful than it was before. At the bottom of the ship deck, a 60-seater sea-themed restaurant opens to your eyes. Even its tablecloths and dishes are labeled with the sign of Meridianas.
In addition to the main restaurant hall, there is a so-called chaise lounge - a banquet hall, which can seat up to 14 guests at the common table. There you find a bar. Visitors can visit it without pre-booking.
To visit the restaurant we need pre-booking. Guests are served by 17 staff.
Meridianas serves a popular business lunch on weekdays from 12:00 to 15:00. In the summer, visitors can enjoy this lunch in the open air on the upper decks. The tables appear here from June. Then it will go to the summer working hours: Meridianas will work on a daily basis until 24:00, on Sundays - until 22:00. By the way, to enjoy the spring sun with a cup of coffee or a dessert on the main deck next to the bar, is already available now, in springtime.
Best restaurants of Klaipeda: Meridianas - Video credit: youtube.com
The interior of the Meridianas, reconstructed barquentine, differs from the former old one. Now it has a spacious layout; the interior details are bright, and it has some exclusive, interesting details. Fortunately, its authenticity has also been preserved. The restaurant now has a glass floor, and you can easily see the old ship's structures from the wood.
The interior of the Meridianas Hall draws attention to its original appearance - when you get here, you feel like immersed in an underwater ship. However, I have to notice that the bright blue interior color simplifies the image of a luxury ship restaurant. But that is just my opinion.
Some other feelings surround you on the outdoor terrace. Its old wooden floors washed out by salt, winds, and water; the white sails at the top of the ship, and many stretched ropes and cords will allow you to feel the spirit of the ancient harbor city.
Lithuanian restaurants: Meridianas - Photo credit: Amber255 via bitLanders.com
Both barquentine's sides, unlike before, are equipped with special illuminators that allow you to see not only what is happening on the shore, but also much more.
The ship itself was rebuilt according to the old drawings of the Finnish shipyard, where it was previously built. Meridianas' twin has survived in Finland. These two boats were the only ones survived in 1948 from the barquentines built in Finland. A Meridianas' twin abroad is raised to shore and exhibited on land.
The onboard exhibition will introduce you to the history of Meridianas, its travels, the structure of the sailboat, the various marine devices.
Now it is an exceptional place where history, romance, and culinary art intertwine.
Restaurant in barquentine: Meridianas - Photo credit: airfreshener.club
The menu is created considering the seasonality and the supply of regional products, and it delights visitors with different tastes. The refreshing snacks, meals, and desserts are created to vary between classic and modern kitchens.
Meridianas continues to be one of the few places in Klaipeda where you can enjoy fresh fish dishes. In the new menu, the chef of the restaurant included both our waters' fishes, such as perch, the special tuna, sturgeon, and so on. In addition to fish dishes, there are new meals from meat and seafood.
Many dishes are dominated by seasonal vegetables and fruit or berry combinations. Combinations of carrots, beetroot, pumpkin, parsnips, blueberries or orange-flavored apples will surprise many gourmets. And how without the homemade marmalade from tomatoes, figs, oranges that are used not only for desserts but also for snacks? In the creation of the menu, the chef of the kitchen did not forget to include the forest food - the mushrooms and nuts.
Another distinctive feature is the home-made sauces and mayonnaise, which all kitchen makers prepare on the spot. Meat, white wine, Dutch sauce is combined with a variety of hot meals to further reveal the qualities of fish or meat flavors. The same mission is carried out by mayonnaise with sepia or traditional homemade mayonnaise of the restaurant.
Where to eat in Klaipeda - Photo credit: facebook.com
The cult dishes of Meridianas is traditional Gaskonian dish distinguished by its subtle, delicious taste and texture, and duck's comfit. The preparation of this dish lasts for as long as 36 hours, as all the time is used to marinate the duck breast with spices. The Chicken Liver Pasta with Fruits and Berries and Butter Bread will find its fans too.
The place and the dishes are really special, so the price will be slightly higher. Snacks (fresh oysters, shrimps, octopus, meat snacks) cost € 6 - € 15 and a hot meal (fish soup, leaf, various meat, and fish) € 9-25.
Meridianas Drinks And Desserts
Here you can enjoy various desserts, among which one of the most topical in the summer season is the homemade ice cream of special taste.
When the weather cools down, the ginger's benefits for breathing, blood circulation, and digestion are remembered, so the favorite of the season will definitely be home-made ginger ice cream with honey. This combination of sweet and bitter tastes should inevitably be a favorite of healthy and balanced nutritionists.
From the drinks dominate various white and red wines. Of course, you can choose more strong drinks or ask for a delicious cocktail. Beer is offered here too. And of course, you can enjoy the delicious coffee or your favorite tea. To the main meal, you get a free glass of cold water.
Restaurant Meridianas review - Photo credit: Amber255 via bitLanders.com
I have been in restaurant Meridianas a few times. Especially I like to come for a cup of coffee in the summertime when visitors can sit in the upper deck and enjoy fresh air looking at the city's buzz and river's water. To describe all my impressions there is not easy, so I will write about my last visit there.
As I mentioned, the pre-booking is needed there. We went with a little friends company just to spend a good time testing various dishes. We came to dinner at around 19:00. We decided to stay on the Meridianas' terrace - the evening was both warm and sunny, perfect for enjoying a romantic view of the Old Town of Klaipeda.
After a few minutes, a pleasant, smiling waitress came to us with the evening menu. When you look at Meridianas menu, you won't be surprised - seafood and fish play the most important note here.
However, you can taste not only herring, mackerel, cod, halibut, and seafood in this port town restaurant. The restaurant's menu boasts both vegetarian and meat dishes. I have to say that the names of the dishes for the ears sounded really nice, so choosing just a few of them was a difficult task.
Where to ear in Klaipeda: Meridianas - Photo credit: Amber255 via bitLanders.com
However, first of all, our eyes turned to the North Atlantic mackerel chop with Siberian cedar peas (€ 7), so we decided to start the evening with this snack.
When choosing the main dishes, we already needed the waiter's help. The restaurant's employee recommended tasting the halibut's fillet in a silky peas sauce (14 €), Valence paella with royal shrimp and Mediterranean seafood (16 €), and wild venison roast with roasted boletus and blueberry sauce (15 €). We decided to try paella and deer - I wanted to remember the taste of a Spanish dish and taste something new at the same time. It was not difficult to decide on the dessert - we dreamed of refreshing home-made Sicilian pistachio ice cream (€ 6).
Like many restaurants, Meridianas' dinner starts with bread and butter. Two different types of bread are served on the plate - white bread with olives and darker with seeds. There are two different butter spreads next to them. One is with truffle, and the other is spiced with herbs. And although I am a loyal fan of truffles, this time I liked the butter spiced with herbs more. Its texture was more pleasant, and the flavor was brighter. Unfortunately, the bread did not have a distinctive taste.
After a few minutes, we were greeted by a pleasant evening surprise - the chef's compliment. It includes a rabbit with apricot jam, carrot and beetroot puree, pistachios. I liked this interesting combination of meat, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. Once again, I found that there is no need for a large portion or variety of ingredients to express good taste. This small portion of rabbit in the mouth revealed a delicious bouquet of rich flavors.
Restaurant Meridianas review - Photo credit: facebook.com
Later on, we had a cold evening snack on our table - mackerel served with fried potatoes, beetroot, and cedar nuts. The fish was soft, the cedar pine crisps fit perfectly in this combination, but I missed the mackerel taste a bit brighter. It was not supplemented by potatoes or beetroot, so next time I would order another dish for the snack.
I just have to mention that the image created by Meridianas kitchen masters on the plate is very aesthetic. This spectacular look has also brought our eyes to the main dishes - venison roast and Valence paella. Having started to taste the Spanish favorite dish paella, I realized that it melted in my mouth leaving a pleasant taste. The combination of venison, carrot puree, and fried boletus added even more flavors. The balance of flavors was great, but the meat was quite tough in places, hard to chew.
Dessert - Sicilian pistachio ice cream until our table traveled the longest. Perhaps the easy confusion we felt in the last hour of our dinner in the restaurant affected it. While dining on the Meridianas terrace, we noticed that there were fewer free tables left only. The home-made Sicilian pistachio ice cream once again fascinated by its appearance - the artwork created on the plate invited us to taste it as soon as possible. The taste of fruit puree, which has been flavored with ice cream, dominated the mouth. The texture and temperature of the home ice cream were excellent.
Best restaurants in Klaipeda: Meridianas - Photo credit: amber255 via bitLanders.com
The interior of the indoor Meridianas Hall seems to me to be a bit obsolete, so it would not be a place to dine. The outdoor terrace is bright, cozy and romantic, allowing you to admire the views of Klaipeda Old Town. But on Friday and Saturday evenings, live music creates a cozy atmosphere.
I think, the chef does not doubt that the client first eats by eyes, so the aesthetic image of the food is very quality. It looks like the chef loves his work and experience a lot with tastes and structures, and is constantly interested in new dishes creation.
To sum up this dinner on the outdoor deck of the restaurant Meridianas, I have to say that it has met my expectations. It is obvious that to keep the guests of the restaurant, it is not enough to have a cozy outdoor terrace, and the aesthetic view on the plate - the taste of dishes contributes to it most.
On The Final Note
Restaurant Meridianas is an impressive place, and not a vain it is called a symbol of the port city Klaipeda. I highly recommend trying a tasting dinner. It's extremely delicious!
There is no need to visit a restaurant or cafe if you want to just look at Meridianas. Like last seasons, this year everyone is able to see Meridianas exposition after paying a symbolic fee and acquiring a guest passport. The price includes not only the inspection of the ship but also the selected drink - a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, a glass of juice or water in the Meridianas bar.
All the money collected from the Guest Passport travels to the support fund of the Meridianas, a sailboat of the Klaipeda Sea City Symbol, and are used for the taking care of the maintenance of a historic ship built in Finland.
Restaurant Review: Meridianas, Klaipeda - Photo credit: picdeer.com
In summary, at Meridianas you will be surrounded by an exceptional environment, you will be offered the professional service as the stuff pay attention to every guest. The restaurant's food is top quality and prepared with big love. These are the main things that you can enjoy in the restaurant Meridianas if ever visit it.
Meridianas attracts not only citizens and city guests not only by sails, exceptional location, view, and stylish interior, but, as I have mentioned, by the chefs of the kitchen.
All the time we were there, just couldn't stop talking about the food.. Felt like chef put something personal in every bit of it.. We loved it and definitely coming back!
Credit: review from tripadvisor.co.uk
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