The centre of the city. The dynamic S. Daukanto street. Nearby – an even more dynamic Laisvės avenue. Amidst the busy crowds of locals and tourists hides a warm and inviting restaurant “Višta Puode”. The restaurant, connected by one kitchen, is actually separated into three areas: Svetainė, where one, apart from the general menu, can enjoy a selection of breakfast dishes as well, Traktierius, where people gather for lunch and snacks, and Restoranas, a space dedicated for special occasions and dinners.
“Višta puode” is in Kaunas for almost three years now. In that time, the first vision of the restaurant has not changed. Comfort and food that reminds of childhood is still attracting the clients, and they, not disappointed, are still coming back. The founders, Greta and Egidijus, are the heads of the restaurant. Though this time, the story of the place is shared by Greta and the manager Viltė.
A warm, friendly atmosphere that reminds of romantic, yet modern elegance, welcomes everyone coming to the restaurant. Greta tells the story of its founding: “We wanted to remind people the flavours from their childhood; the dishes that were made by our mothers and grandmothers. The aroma alone reminds of those special moments, and the first bite draws you in without hesitation. This is what we want to share with our customers”, -she says.
The customers can return to their childhood, for a moment at least, by visiting this restaurant. A warm chicken stock, stews, bakes, pies, and special desserts are there to taste and enjoy. The environment itself appears to be full of care and comfort too. When the weather becomes chilly, a warm big blanket will be offered by the staff, so the customer can stay and enjoy the meal without any rush.
Traditional, yet Extraordinary
It would seem that the recipes coming from the past have long traditions and only a few variations that are unquestionable, but “Višta Puode” breaks the rules. Homemade ice-cream makes the word “original” seem flat when one is surprised by the flavours of burned sugar, cucumber and mint, or toasted bread.
When asked, where the ideas come from, Greta says that the inspiration comes from nature, seasonal produce, and the environment. In addition, the rest of the team also shares their family recipes that are later adapted for the contemporary client. To make sure the ideas and new flavours work, the customers receive questionnaires from time to time. Their answers reveal what should be kept, and what should go.
According to Greta, “Višta Puode” goes back to more difficult methods when preparing food: “There are not many places where a dish with herring is started by gutting the herring, or potato pancakes – by peeling a potato”, -says Greta. The manager Viltė agrees by saying that people simply lack the time nowadays. “People may be missing a certain dish, but they do not have the time to cook it. Now they can come to our restaurant, enjoy the dish, and save time too”, -she claims.
The Restaurant and its Customers
The managers are happy with their restaurant, and says that they do not feel a lot of competition from others. “We can see that some restaurants are improving a lot, but there are not many of them”, – Greta adds. She also agrees that the work is hard, but the creativity and possibilities to change do not allow for boredom, and make it worth the while.
Greta also says that the clients make it worth to stay too. “There are not many restaurants in Kaunas, where one can eat a meal that is tasty, of good quality, and not that expensive. Also, many clients lack patience, so we want to educate our clients to wait because good food does not come quickly”, – she says.
Restaurant is very serious about its role in being sustainable. “When talking about food waste, we can say that from the very beginning we try to plan the number of customers, the amount of produce, which later leads to the least amount of waste.” Says the manager Viltė. The restaurant also works together with Maltiečiai. “Višta Puode” not only makes the soups together at the times of various campaigns, but shares some of the produce from their storage with Maltiečiai too.
The restaurant collaborates with the farmers and wine makers from Zarasai, Švėkšna, Kėdainiai, and other places in Lithuania. One farm that works with the restaurant from the very beginning, provides it with chicken, the other – with ecological eggs. It appears that “Višta Puode” has a few tested providers that do not disappoint.
Women reflect on the event from last year saying it was a very good experience, and have only positive opinions about it. They also ensure that the rest of the team feels the same way. According to them, the preparation and the evening itself went well, and adds that the dishes prepared for the event are still in the menu.
However, they do not share their plans for this year, so people would have to come and find out for themselves.