- Scribbler Apr 2, 2001 09:55 AM
There used to be a Lithuanian restaurant in Richmond Hill. Name was Baltija or something like that. My husband drove around the area recently and couldn't find it. Does anyone know if it is still there OR if there are any other Lithuanian restaurants in Queens???
Baltija (sic?) closed nearly a decade ago - financial improprieties from the owners, or the like. Wasn't so special. Nothing has replaced it yet. I ate in Lithuania once (illegal journey in 1990 to Birzhai, near Latvian border) and doubt if the cuisine can be replicated abroad, as the local bread and unique local dairy products were so tied to the dishes that any substitutions would be akin to using egglants and soy products for false meat courses. The one attempt at the profound breadmaking is by Silver Cup, which has a bakery in Elmhurst-Corona and sells to German(ic) shops. Lithuanian bread was amazing - theirs is not bad but again a pale reminder.
re: Allan Evans
My family is from Lithuania..my grandmother cooked many authentic dishes...She didn't arrive in America till long after the War, as a grown woman with 2 children...With her, she brought her talent for cooking...but also, a taste for authenticity in restaurants...I think that you will be pleasantly suprised by :
2715 W. 71st Street
8 a.m.-8 p.m. In addition, there is The Healthy Good Lithuanian restaurant on Halsted in Chicago.
Many of those true to their culture still flock back to Lithuanian plaza....Despite it's nearly a ghostown now...The Talman Deli still remains, selling the finest of authentic foods handmade there fresh daily...It's worth the trip. Hope that helps.
i live in ny. many years ago, i visited Marquette Park in Chicago. it was like a trip back to williamsburg brooklyn in the 1940s. i ate at a resaurant on the main street. even for that time, the meal was delicious, filling and cheap. is it still there. is marquette park the same..a bit of lithuania in the usa. regarding recipes..Izabele sinkeviciute put together a fantastic cookbook published by darbinaskas in brooklyn. it might still be available. i have a recipe for a russian black bread which is as close as you can get to our bread which i lived on solely for quite a while in the 1940s. it is better that the silver bakery which i have driven over 70 miles to buy there bread..
I don't know any Lithuanian places offhand, but the one Lithuanian neighborhood I knew of some years back - don't know if it's still intact - was in Cypress Hills near the entrance to Evergreen Cemetery. Maybe you can look for something there...
I'm the old owner of Baltija, happened to come across this. We had to close due to the FEDS closing the Credit Union, who owned the building and was on the first floor of the building, and did not reopen.
There is a Bar called The Avenue in Glendale and they served Lithuanian dishes during their Sunday Brunch menu.
Also, Just Like Mother's on Queens Blvd (is what I would have envisioned Baltija to have been like) http://www.justlikemothers.com/
It is THE BEST place to Eastern European Food!
If you're ever in South Boston, there is a Lithuanian Club with a traditional bar/restaurant and the food is amazing, including beers from Lithuania:
I ate at Baltija a couple of times in 1991 & it was great! I was a flight attendant based in NY & was thrilled to find a Lithuanian restaurant only a couple of blocks away. I see that the owner recently posted on this site & I was hoping she would share her recipe for Lith. garlic bread (kepta duona) . It was delicious! Best I've had since I was 17 & my great-grandmother died. She left lots of recipes for us, but not that one. Nobody in the family can recreate it. There used to be two Lith restaurants in Chicago - Healthy Food Lithuanian Rest on Halstead & Neringa Restaurant in W. 71st St. There is also the Baltic Bakery in Chicago & they come very close to making authentic Lith rye that I've had in Lithuania. There also used to be a bakery in Omaha called the Lithuanian Bakery that makes bread, pastries & even ships Napoleonas Tortas! If the lady who ran Baltija reads this, please feel free to contact me at Stuarthess@aol.com Labai ačiu! Matt Vilkas
Thanks for the word, Vernor. Koldunai are on the regular menu at The Avenue, and several additional Lithuanian items -- kugelis, cepelinai, desreles -- indeed appear on the brunch menu. However, I've found that it's only at brunch on the final Sunday of the month, and not every month; call ahead to be sure.
I'm the owner of the Avenue Restaurant. I ate at Baltija in when it opened. I thought it was a very nice place and liked the food. It was a damn shame the Credit Union closed down. I truly believe it could been a successful Restaurant offering Lithuanian Food.