What does dinner at the famous Amaro look like?
Over the last five months I have visited three Michelin-starred restaurants. Each visit was connected with some important occasion. The first – in January – on my son’s first birthday. I chose Kontrast in Oslo. It was amazing. You can read about this a few columns ago.The second dinner was on my 30th birthday. I chose Senses – one Michelin-starred restaurant, the second such in Poland. It was a must-see visit, I am a Pole, I wanted to boast about what we have. Unfortunately that was a mistake. I neither like norwant to write negative words about anyone’s work, but this time I am going to make an exception, and you will know why at the end of the column.The third restaurant I had visited a bit by chance (Marcin, thanks for such coincidences!), Atelier Amaro. What I met there, with what and how much I was amazed, went far beyond my expectations.
The head waiter welcomes us at the entrance, the nice man leads us to a table. First we order Campari with freshly squeezed orange juice, and we look through the menu. We can choose either 6 or 9 moments. Of course, together with Olga we order a larger menu of the two, along with a selection of Polish spirits. We begin with “amuse- bouches”. This menu includes: new potato / broad bean / asparagus / cucumber / lettuce / lard / yoghurt / black pudding / onion / chocolate / beetroot / chives / herring / wheat / hay / thyme. It was literallya garden! In a beautiful wooden chest, in edible soil (Wojtek, next time we will ask for a spoon for the soil ;)) there were a young potato, broad bean, asparagus and cucumber. I felt like a young farmer harvesting crops. Everything fresh and aromatic… and this soil! I do not want to reveal what the potato smelt like, or what the broad bean had inside. This uncertainty during the entire dinner was best. We were sitting and reading the next three ingredients, eagerly wondering what would be next and how it would be served.
Here come our “9 moments”.
At first, sturgeon / dill / watercress. Smoked sturgeon, grilled in Japanese cherry right before serving, with a green strawberry (Wojtek, we were wondering the whole time where the idea for a green strawberry in the menu had come from? We bet this is yours, and our, memory from childhood. Before the strawberries ripened, we all picked green ones 🙂 We forgot to ask.). The sturgeon had an extraordinary taste and smell. This is the only dish whose recipe I have revealed so that you could feel like eating the rest of the dishes 😉 This dish was accompanied by a small glass of NalewkaStaropolska Agrest Staropolska Fruit Liquor, Gooseberry from 2007. Bravo to Mr sommelier for a perfect pairing of alcohol to the dishes.
The next moment we were looking forward to verbena/tomato/marjoram. We were amazed at the serving. I must say I expected something else, and what a surprise. This dish has won one guest’s heart. He told us about it for a good few minutes.
Then we read in the menu: broad bean/lavender/rabbit. You see the serving in the photo, where is the rabbit? 5 people asked me this question. We had also been wondering until we tasted everything that was on the plate. I will not tell you today as it will take away the surprise 😉 I will just say that you will also find a snail in this dish.
Asparagus/blackcurrant/larch – this is the next dish. You do have to smell the jar in which the asparagus was kept. Unearthly smell!
Wild strawberry/ whey/ wood sorrel – who does not remember the taste of wild wood strawberries? Bravo for using them in the menu! Oxtail sauce with… and here I will leave you with a hint of curiosity. 😉
The next three ingredients – turbot/cabbage/black trumpet, this composition was stunning. The black chanterelle made thedish, both in terms of taste and colour. Staropolska Fruit Liquor, Rowan and Blackthorn 2010 to this.
And now the meat! Lamb/nasturtium/wild garlic. The best lamb I have ever eaten in my life! It was melting in my mouth. I hope one day the chef will tell me how he prepares it…
Green strawberry/hackberry/pollen and Krzeska – herbal vodka, Gorzelnia Chopin NV.
After all those dishes I can say it was mega refreshing 😉
The final moment was dessert: reindeer moss/rhubarb/milk. For me without milk, but Olga said that the milk made the dessert. It was the best dessert I have ever eaten. And of course, a perfectly matched alcohol! This was the first time I had not drunk sweet alcohol to a sweet dessert. It was perfectly thought through.
Petit fours at the end of the dinner: plum/almonds/sunflower/rhubarb/hibiscus/juniper/cocoa/toffee. Everything ideal! Not too sweet, not too heavy, portions not too big.
Our visit at Atelier came to an end. Forgive me, dear Readers, but I could not reveal all. The visit to Atelier is like going to the theatre to see a good play. You wait for the next act, you are curious what will be next. I do not want to deprive you of that.
Wojtek, having left the restaurant we sat on the nearby low wall and were sure of one thing: you are not the next chef who opened a restaurant. Before Atelier was established, you had travelled around the world, and I have the impression that you have eaten in every “starred” restaurant. You knew exactly what you wanted. You did something I have never seen before and would not likely see in any other restaurant. Bravo to you for using Polish products, for drawing inspiration from nature and tradition, and thank you for showing guests from abroad that Poland is not only vodka. The selection of Polish spirits, cordials, fruit liquors, ciders, and vodkas was a bell ringer. If someone wants to visit a Michelin-starred restaurant in Poland, they have to start with Atelier Amaro. I started with Senses and that was a mistake. Thank you for the delicious culinary art, the atmosphere (the guests exchanged their remarks, and we even got onto first-name terms with one couple 😉), world-class service. Wojtek, we congratulate you on creating such a beautiful place. I am very proud that as a Pole I can say aloud that you have the best restaurant I have ever been to, and you definitely deserve even more stars. Marcin Przybysz, thank you for introducing us to the garden – this is like your child ;). I hope that we will meet soon. See you. Thank you!