Vilnius is a very beautiful city in the east of Lithuania, with many interesting attractions located in the city centre. However, for those willing to venture outside of the old town, there are a few hidden gems to be discovered.
As you enter La Pasta you instantly feel as though you have been teleported to Italy, and we don’t just mean the country. The decoration and ambience give a sense of a true casa Italiana.
Of course, the interior of La Pasta is not the only aspect that creates the Italian atmosphere. Daniele, manager of the restaurant and a true Italian, treats you not as a customer but as one of his own friends. Daniele strongly believes that what you give is what you get and we couldn’t agree more!
But let’s be honest: if we really talk about Italy, the food is everything – the star, the main attraction, the showpiece. And there are probably two key words if we talk about the Italian kitchen: pizza and pasta.
Pasta in Itay is a staple food, the everyday meal. Each different shape of pasta has a different taste. For example, the shape of pasta which is called macaroni. In Lithuania people are accustomed to calling all pasta as macaroni, which is inaccurate. Ever tried pepperoni pizza? In a local Italian pizzeria, you will be ordering a pizza with peppers, because that is the literal translation of pepperoni. Like jazz and baseball, pepperoni is purely an American invention. The same applies to latte. If you ask for latte in Italy, don’t be surprised to receive simply a glass of milk, rather than a milky coffee. Of course, the more popular tourist areas are adjusted to the needs of travelers, but let’s keep these things in mind.
Delving deeper into the cultural differences, we were surprised to learn something which Italians do not do: they never drink soft drinks or coffee whilst eating. Only water or wine is served with a meal, so as to not ruin the taste of the food.
Another important aspect of Italian dining is this: from salty to sweet. The order of the dishes served play a very important role. Antipasti (starters), first plate (pasta or ravioli), second plate (usually meat with vegetables or perhaps another pasta dish), followed by sweeter items such as fruit, then dessert, and only after dessert, coffee. The very last touch is known as digestivo – the drink which aids the digestion of a long meal (grappa, limoncello etc.).
More or less we tried to follow the Italian way of dining. We wouldn’t say it was easy (seriously, how is it possible to eat that much?!), but it was totally worth it.
P.S. Daniele told us that in Italy if you really like the food, you can express that in a gesture: point your index finger near the corner of your lips and turn it around.
We liked – we did – we’ll be coming back!
Restaurant: La pasta makaronų namai
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Facebook: La pasta makaronu namai