Riga, the ancient Baltic seaport and Latvian capital, has become one of the trendiest cities in Europe, according to MSNBC. So naturally they need some theme restaurants to keep the tourists flocking there amused and fed. So along comes Hospitalis, a hospital-themed restaurant/nightclub owned by a couple of local doctors whoaccording to legendthought up the idea over a couple of snifters of cognac.
Along with fine cognac and such health-conscious details as calorie counts on the menu, other eatery features include operating-table seating, drinks served in beakers and test tubes, and fright-wig clad waitresses and musicians, all dressed in risque nurse costumes.
While the international menu features such familiar entries as bouillabaisse, minestrone, grilled steak and baked chicken, theres also a crazy menu that carries the disclaimer: We warn you that decoration of food can be unusual or even shocking!
Even in Latvian, you get the idea the crazy dishes must be dressed up to look a bit, um, medical: residio postamputationem traumatica mixtum (which in English is the much-less alarming baked quail filled with liver pate, served with grilled radicchio salad and Calvados sauce). Or you could have the debilitas dementio hysterica universalis gravis, otherwise known as cream soup of seafood with langoustine tails.
One contributor to a travel blog said the prices at Hospitalis were quite reasonable, and described the atmosphere as quite creepy, and not very cozy, but a fun experience.
The Riga City Guide Web site, rigathisweek.lv, recommends the old-school sanatorium-style business lunch, and notes that an unforgettable experience is guaranteed. But the only comment posted to this item was from Colin, who described the restaurant as just More Riga overpriced nonsense. Give it six months maximum.