Photos by : Miks Ramāns
Every time I passed the window of this place, I was catching myself thinking "Interesting, interesting ... !". It looked to be full of small, amusing things that usually make me kaif just from viewing them even if I do not plan to buy anything. Quite a time ago I remember coming in accidentally and last Saturday finally I returned here for a photoshoot and late lunch !
Galerija Istaba - Gallery Room - could not match its name more. On the first floor, seen from the window case, there is a gallery - shop of Latvian designers creations. Seems like there is everything - cups with funny inscriptions, colourful notebooks and calendars, artsy planners and postcards, vivid knitted hats, headbands with plumages and birds, wooden bow ties, animal masques, facetious mini pictures, lo-ots of earrings and many, many more ... Take time and attention to see all edges of human creative mind !
On the second floor, which is actually a balcony and you can see the gallery - shop from above, there is a restaurant & bar. Here comes the second part of the name, as the interior is so roomy. Tables are located by three walls and every one of them has a different setting - tables, sofas, chairs, lamps, interior elements and even wall colours are unique in every spot. The only thing in common is that all of them look very cozy and welcoming - like when you visit grandma and feel almost at home though you do not live there.
When we chose the table (the one with huge dark red chairs which soak you in so comfy that you do not even want to lean to a plate later), a waitress comes in with a "no menus" surprise. Just tell her what you want in terms of dessert, wine & snack, big dinner or, as for us, light lunch and she will tell options. We decided to have salad and chicken which came after very appropriate waiting time - we just managed to finish warm, crunchy seed bread with olive oil and four kinds of sauces (blue cheese - my fav !, hummus with garlic, blended olives and one which was little sweet and very fluffy). The main curse was served on two big plates - salad for two on one and chicken for two on another so everyone could manage their portions which for me felt super cool (you know women / men eating proportions, ha). Our simple lunch tasted delicious - salad was packed with lots of veggies, greens and even berries and chicken was soft, juicy and supplemented with light sauce.
Not that it affected the taste but vintage, flowery dishes were just gorgeous - surely, i Instagramed them immediately (who wouldn't ?). Another surprise, not so pleasant this time, came out of check box - if you do not ask waitress about prices, the bill might be slightly bigger than you expected. But overall, Galerija Istaba is a very nice place to eat a weekend brunch, have a dinner date or just a glass of wine with a friend, to amuse yourself with artsy creations, find original gift or just lil' something for yourself. Plus, from time to time, there are held presentation and opening events of Latvian artists, so stay tuned to flow on the creative wave !