Aula: A Lithuanian restaurant to dine for

From the outside, this restaurant looked a bit too classy for my likings; Especially because I had just gotten off a 26-hour bus ride without brushing my hair and still wearing the same t-shirt from the day before.

By Annastashia Goolsby

Vilnius, Lithuania- Aula looked just as sophisticated inside with its arched doorways, antique paintings and a bookshelf crammed with dozens of books that looked to be at least 30 years old. To add to the ambient mood, the three dinning rooms were lit by chandelier and each table with its own tea light candle.

Despite my underdressed style, the waitress was patient with me while I tried to pronounce the beer, Švyturio Baltas, which according to the menu was supposed to complement my fried Lithuanian cheese salad (kepto lietuviško sūrio salotos).

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Fried bread sticks with garlic and cheese (kepintos duonos lazdelės su česnakiniu sūrio padažu) Photo: Annastashia Goolsby

While waiting for my salad, I ordered fried bread sticks with garlic and cheese (kepintos duonos lazdelės su česnakiniu sūrio padažu). I thought I was ordering plain garlic bread but when the waitress came carrying a plate of intricately piled pieces of bread with the most delicious smelling cheese melted on top, I was relieved it was more than just garlic bread.

I must have been extremely hungry or excited to be in another country that I had to order a classic Lithuanian dish: bulviniai blynai su varškės ir žoleliy padažu (potato pancakes with herb and curd sauce). Although delicious, it was a bit mushier and blander than I anticipated.

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Zucchini pancakes with sour cream (cukinijų blyneliai su grietine) Photo: Annastashia Goolsby

After devouring my fried cheese “salad,” which had enormous chunks of cheese, fried beetroot slices and roughly three pieces of lettuce, I could hardly finish my potato pancakes and dessert was the last thing on my mind.

The only downfall on that Friday night was the slow service but given the fact there was only one waitress for a full house, I will not dock any points.

In fact, I went back three more times to try more dishes and a typical Lithuanian dessert called Tinginys: A mouthwatering fudge-like cake roll with pieces of crunchy biscuit inside.

Needless to say, I went to Aula four nights out of seven and would recommend it to anyone for some of the best food in Europe. I cannot wait until my next trip to Lithuania to gain another five pounds.

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Fried goat cheese salad Aula (kepto ožkų sūrio salotos Aula) Photo: Annastashia Goolsby