Driving for pizza. Goldingen
When Goldingen Room opened in Kuldīga a few years ago, it was a good two hour drive from Riga. Riga was where everything was happening and almost nothing was outside Riga. Many people wished them well, thinking that it was better to plan having a meal there sooner than later (since most Latvians tend to think the worst, they all thought that such a beautifully tasty place would not exist for long). I did have a meal there that summer, and I did think that the next summer it would not be there – it was just too good to be true for such a small city and even for Latvia.
Next summer came, and they were still there – wife and husband run the restaurant and many say it is the best pizzeria in Latvia. I have to agree in some ways. The pizzas are made in a traditional wood-burning oven – right in the “mouth” of the beast that makes the juiciest pizzas in seconds. Santa, the lady of the house, has worked in Italy, and she knows how to make proper Italian food, including pizza, but that is not all. She is also passionate about pastry and the macaroons there are so, so, so.....
Most people go to Goldingen for pizza. That is a fact, and I do too. But that is not the only thing to have there. They also have great salads, pasta, main courses, and appetizers. Even if you don't want anything to eat, you still have to go there for a coffee, juice, or something small just to enjoy the beautiful interior – especially the fragile girl painted on the golden wall. Nice wine, good coffee, always good pizza, and a pleasant busy hum is what Goldingen is about. It is about the courage to open something that would sooner belong in London or France or Berlin or any other place where people appreciate good food and a great interior. It is the courage to open a place like this in a city with only a few thousand habitants that is so far from the capital. And it has been rewarded by the people who waited a long time for something this good.
So if you are ever wondering about where to go for a pizza – Goldingen Room it is. It is a beautiful trip to Kuldīga where the widest waterfall in Europe is located.It is on your way to Liepāja, the city “where the wind is born”, and time stands still here allowing you to admire the old architecture. It is on your way to fantastic Pāvilsosta, which is a must during the summer and fall. It is on your way to wild, wild Jurkalne. But Goldingen is a great destination itself – just get in the car and head for a slice of great pizza, because it is worth every starving kilometer until you get there.
And keep in mind that in the recently opened café next door,Bistro, you can quickly grab crispy fried shrimp with paprika sauce, some sandwiches, and, yes, good old French fries. They have cakes, croissants, and little great things to take away if you're in a hurry.
Baznicas 2. Kuldīga
Text and pictures: Signe Meirane
Photos taken with Sony alpha 7s