I tried several over the last weekend.
Our trip to the Georgian restaurant Pas Ramazi is described here by Goodbye Lenin. Not much to add: quite pleasant for an outdoor lunch but as the Michelin would say, "not worth a detour" and definitely not worth the price. Still the tkemali (green plum) sauce was good, if thicker than most people make it.
For a change, I tried to persuade another friend we should give Sue's Indian Rajah another try. I reviewed it negatively ("no balti in the Baltic States") here. Apparently Rajah noticed, as shortly afterwards he opined that I was "lacking attention". The result seems to be that "Balti from Birmingham" is no longer from anywhere, it has disappeared from the menu. The rest of the menu would not be out of place in the back streets of a northern English city, were it not for the specialities named after people who haven't been in Vilnius for a long time and did not impress me then, so I would not be impressed by their recommendation. On this occasion my friend was a vegetarian, for whom an Indian restaurant is usually a good bet, but we were both disappointed. We left after a look at the menu, before Rajah was available, with or without attention. For the only Indian restaurant in Vilnius with an excellent location and decor, plus prices to match, its menu could do with more than a facelift.
So off we went to the Greek on Pilies (Spyros Metaxa), where I have only popped in for the Metaxa before, but my friend likes. Here the menu was impressive, though the explanations were not. I was rather excited to find hortapita on the menu, which I had never met before even in Greece. As the world blogging expert on horta (this page is the most popular on my blog, due only to the absence of others I assume, as Google searches for horta regularly land there, and there are more people wanting to know what is horta than you would think), I felt obliged to ask for hortapita, (horta pie) and to ask exactly what type of horta was in it (assuming something more exotic than spinach). The waitress explained that it was a type of "spice" pie, (which it certainly isn't) so in the end I settled for moussaka, thinking that if Germans can make a more than acceptable moussaka in Tbilisi (visit Rainer's with the green door) surely Lithuanians can manage it too.
The moussaka was not very warm (well this is typical of Greek food, so not really something you can complain about), had certainly not been sitting in the oven all day, stewing nicely, and came "garnished" with a whole tinned plum tomato, which is a new interpretation which suggests a lazy cook, in my opinion.
I also decided to indulge in a glass of retsina. The glass of white wine was suspiciously watery for a retsina so I asked to see the bottle. The bottle came with the manager, who was Greek, and we discussed how many types of retsina there are, which bottled down to the oily piny resins I had drunk every time before in Greece and other countries, and the thin white wines she claimed were another sort of retsina, from a bottle displaying genuine retsina labels, apparently made in the traditional way. Still it was a friendly conversation, so I asked about hortapita. This time we were talking about the same thing (a pie made from a green limp vegetable). From her experience, Lithuanians did not like spinach (news to both of us) so she used something else, as yet unidentified.
My friend's meal (baklazhan and yogurt), was less controversial, though the yogurt was not the thick Greek one we are still looking for without success in Lithuania. At the end of the meal the manager came out again to apologise and offered us a 10% discount, so we left happy.
Finally after a hard evening comparing kitchen white boxes, with some other friends I went to Belmontas for coffee, where we sat by the lake with the black swans, huddled in blankets with an extra cognac for warmth. Belmontas is such a fabulous place, a restored mill in a park with a weir and lake, which even when it is crowded, still seems peaceful. A Polish wedding was being celebrated upstairs with traditional music and dancing. One summer evening we saw boys jumping off a bridge, not quite so stylish as off the Mostar bridge but fun for them.