Not only does the restaurant take the job of creating modern Baltic cuisine very seriously, it also listens to its guests, and is constantly evolving its menu to fit their suggestions.
14Horses, like the nearby restaurant Nineteen18 and the bar Sofija, belongs to Nordic Food Republic. This group owns the Farmers Circle agricultural community, near Ukmergė in the village of Radiškiai, where most of the organically sourced products used in the restaurants come from.
77 km from Vilnius, located deep in Lithuania’s rich agricultural belt, is where everything begins. 14Horses is essentially part of that farm and not the other way round. This farm came into existence because of the company’s CEO Niels Peter Pretzmann’s great love for Lithuania. He saw the opportunity to protect the country’s rich agricultural tradition, and acquired Augustinas Manor, a farm near Ukmergė, with its wealth of history and nature. The goal of the Farmers Circle is to develop sustainable farming. This lies at the heart of everything the restaurant does– meaning that all the products that arrive in the kitchen are used creatively—from head to tail, from root to leaf.
The farm is the backbone of the companies larger mission – the creation of a unique Baltic Cuisine. To this end, the farm acts as a laboratory for culinary experiments that will later be used as the basis for restaurant dishes. The pickling and drying of produce being one such example. The Farmers Circle is currently home to 170 Angus cattle and chickens, and soon geese, ducks and bees will be moving in.
“The menu at the brasserie is based on the products received from our farm. Sometimes vegetables become a more important component than meat or fish. Everything at our restaurant is constructed in this fashion: We begin with the best that nature and our farm have to offer, and only then do we begin experimenting with tastes and production technology,” says restaurant Chef Andrius Kubilius. Dishes are most often only composed of five ingredients. This helps the chefs to focus on essential products and their flavours.
“A lot of cooperation, experimentation and socializing with Matas Paulinas (Chef at Nineteen18) has allowed us to look at and recognize the taste of typical products from a new angle, and to present them in a completely new way. I am grateful that what was considered a creative limitation in the past is now my greatest inspiration and motivation to search, taste and surprise myself,” says Andrius of his creative process.
The brasserie is open all day and offers breakfast, a business lunch buffet, or a la carte. There are also other menus available at different times. For example: a Sunday family menu meant for sharing (children 3 and under eat for free), and a degustation menu where the main menu options of 14Horses are highlighted.
Green Vegetable Bowl – 14 Eur, Potato Carpaccio (a firm favourite on the menu) – 9 Eur.
Andrius Kubilius is a well-known chef who began his career as a sous chef, just like that other well-known Lithuanian chef – Egidijus Lapinskas. In the beginning, the duo worked at the Radisson Blu Royal Astoria Hotel restaurant Astorija Brasserie, and later both transferred to La Esperanza (Esperanza Resort). They then worked together at Time (Comfort Hotel LT – Rock 'n' Roll Vilnius). Andrius soon became head chef, and worked there for almost 5 years. Just before starting work at 14Horses, he briefly worked at Sakmės. Prior to opening 14Horses, Andrius had a six-month break. With the aim of expanding his culinary knowledge and better understanding the uniqueness of the region, he spent 6 months studying and analysing Baltic cuisine. And everything he learned in this deep dive; he’s putting to culinary use.