A place with charm. Pagalms
I fell in love with Pagalms one rainy day eating 14 cakes with friends – All of the cakes Pagalms had. They were all superb, and, as a surprise, they also served honey cake made from my recipe that I inherited from my mother. The next time, we went there for a sunny summer breakfast. This was, once more, a “fall in love” moment, because there is no other place in Riga where you can feel like you are in some courtyard in New York City, but still enjoy the quite city life we have here.
Something has changed since last year – for the better. The cakes are still as good as they were, and some have gotten even better. There is still the honey cake my mom used to make, but now there is much more. There is a new, very talented chef, who makes every bite you take taste just special. There is nothing too fancy to be scared of, but the simplicity of every dish has just about everything you need. The ostrich tartar is something that is hard to forget, and the same goes for the salmon with that creamy rich sauce. A watermelon salad is a must if you love watermelon and cheese, but for those who love buffalo mozzarella, there is a salad waiting for you too.
But, honestly, no evening in Pagalms is complete without a cocktail. Lavender (although meant more for men) is my favorite in everything – presentation, style, taste, and aroma. A very close second to my favorite is rhubarb and watermelon (not just for me – many ladies seem to like them). Everything is perfect when the cocktails arrive and it is time to eat. It is easy to get carried away with the gluten-free seed bread coated with a thick layer of soft and creamy butter, but you have to restrain yourself, since there is so much more great goodness to come. Octopus is their celebrity dish, as well as grilled food on those special grill evenings. The kids’ menu has dumplings and chicken salad – well, I believe all the grownups would enjoy every single bite of those two dishes.
Last but not least – don't even consider leaving without having a slice of cake (the raw cakes are rich in chocolate) or an éclair, because the cakes here are divine. A digestif to wash it all down, and you know that the feeling of satisfaction will stay for a long time, and it won’t be long before you will be back.
Kronvalda bulv. 2b, Riga, Latvia
Text: Signe Meirane
Photo: Kristine Dzalbe