The credo of Butchery & Wine Gdynia chef is ‘Quality over quantity’. This recently opened restaurant in Gdynia does not only cater for carnivores, as the name might suggest, but has some tasty dishes for those preferring meatless options.
Gdynia branch is a ‘little sister’ of a well-known Warsaw restaurant, owned by the best (according to Forbes magazine) restaurateur in Poland: Daniel Pawełek. The place opened in March 2023 and the chef, Mateusz Ciałko, talked to us, revealing his culinary concepts and introducing us to his personal cuisine, where each dish is made with passion.
We start from the basics: the vision of the restaurant. The chef admits:
“We specialize in high-quality products, our flagship item is beef and the main feature is, and will always be, quality. We would like to be appreciated by our guests for the premium quality of the food we serve and the simple, unpretentious way of serving it. We offer good food without bizarre additions and without pretty, but inedible garnishes. That is why our dishes will never be complicated: we aim for quality, not quantity. When visiting Butchery & Wine Gdynia you can be sure to get the best quality food, wine and service” – he adds.
I fully agree with the statement that simplicity best highlights the flavour and quality of ingredients. For a given product to be composed on a plate in a perfect way, it needs to be properly handled. Handling meat is not the easiest task, so I want to know what is Butchery & Wine Gdynia chef’s approach to it.
“The beef we serve comes from Polish cattle farms. It is simply the best and, as many other ingredients we use, it is sourced locally. We season our meat in appropriate conditions for 28-30 days, which makes the taste much more intense. Then we start processing the meat – the shorter the process, the better – Mateusz Ciałko tells us.
Since the restaurant is located at the seaside, there are many references in the menu to sea-related products, such as fish, seaweed or seafood. I cannot hold my tongue any more and have to ask: What about vegetarians – is there anything they can eat there? It turns out they can, as the chef has long experience in vegetarian cuisine and likes to creatively play with the plant-based products.
OK, time to cut to the chase and look at the menu! I will tell you about the dishes which I tried at B&W Gdynia. I thought it best to give free rein to the chef in choosing the dishes I should try, trusting his perspective on cooking would be the guarantee of exquisite taste.
I began with a signature dish, something which is always on the menu and which this place is famous for: bone marrow! The contents of the plate which lands in front of me is really impressive: a huge bone, filled with greasy, soft bone marrow. It is served with a side of mussels cooked in herby butter sauce, marinated mushrooms and grilled lemon.
The main course, in turn, was summarized by the chef in three words: “simple, tasty and grilled” – fire-roasted Baltic salmon and grilled asparagus, served with silky sauce made of reduced buttermilk and fennel, chives, basil-flavoured olive oil and salmon caviar. It is a delicious, wholesome dish.
For dessert I had rhubarb crumble with meringue and custard. Afterwards I drank a cup of strong coffee, watching the lively street and listening to the city noise – I could sit like that for hours.
For those who would like to visit Butchery & Wine Gdynia – it is good to know that except for the core dishes, which are served daily, the menu changes every single day. What can be found on the menu on a particular day depends on the availability of products and on the chef’s inspirations, so you may expect some surprising concoctions. I really like such creative approach to cooking, because experimenting with various flavours is one of the greatest pleasures we can indulge in.
Summing up: even if you are not a sworn meat lover, you can still enjoy the food in Butchery & Wine Gdynia. Excellent and unpretentious dishes await you there, and the open kitchen gives you the opportunity to watch the kitchen staff at work.