On a hot, summer’s day, we look for a way to stay cool. We face the wind, letting the sea breeze do its thing. We hide in the shade, drink iced lemonades, and eat lightly. Today, we would like to invite you on a delicious stroll to find delicate, flavourful dishes to keep your body temperature down.
We begin our adventure in the Gvara restaurant, located in the heart of Gdańsk. Piotr Wasilewski, the head chef, has prepared a wide selection of different dishes for anyone craving cool and light cuisine. For starters, let’s try the raspberry lemonade, bursting with fruit. It’s delightfully refreshing, and doesn’t go overboard with sweetness, which happens in many other places. After quenching our thirst, we ask the head chef for his recommendations for hot, summer days.
“I’d start with bruschetta, a little, light snack. Traditionally, bruschetta is served with fresh tomatoes. Our take involves sun-dried tomatoes, as well as olives, and a tender herring tartare. I also recommend spaghetti made from courgette, served with Gorgonzola and walnuts. If you’re craving carbohydrates, then the seafood tagliatelle is for you,” said Piotr Wasilewski.
Courgette spaghetti is not only delicious, but it also looks great on the plate. A pinch of Gorgonzola cheese and the bitterness of walnuts bring out the sweetness of the crispy courgette, offering light, well-balanced flavour. For dessert, Piotr Wasilewski recommends the luscious, roasted chocolate semifreddo with seaberry mousse, fruit crumble, and fresh fruit. This dessert is, in fact, chilled white chocolate mousse, in which the sweetness of the chocolate adds to the sour note of the seaberry. The smooth texture of the dessert, on the other hand, contrasts with the crunchy almond crumble.
The Kubicki restaurant, which can boast being the oldest one in Gdańsk, is located by the Motława river, just a few minutes’ walk from the Gvara restaurant. It has several delicious items on the menu that were thought of with hot, summer days in mind. We start with a classic: chłodnik, a traditional cold beet soup served with smoked goose breast, according to a hundred-years-old recipe. If you prefer tomatoes, then you should try the smooth gazpacho with raspberries and crunchy cucumber. The soup tastes like summer sun, bringing out the best from the tomatoes. The raspberries highlight the sweetness of the tomatoes, and the cucumber makes the soup refreshing. For dessert, the head chef, Damian Mazurowski, recommends sorbets:
“Of course, we make the ice-cream ourselves. Today’s recommendations are sorbets: raspberry and seaberry, with meringue and a caramel flake. For those who prefer their ice-cream creamier, we have halvah ice-cream served with smoked plum”.
Indeed, raspberries and seaberries make for a good team, both visually (the colours!) and flavourwise: it’s refreshing like no other!
The Filharmonia restaurant is located on the other side of the footbridge, on the Ołowianka island. We started by ordering refreshing lemonades and admiring the view of the Motława river.
Next, we tried the lovely cold beet soup. Its traditional flavour was in this case accompanied by a sweet note of Kashubian strawberries. The dessert, a chillingly refreshing raspberry semifreddo, looks almost too perfect to be destroyed like this. But its flavour’s completely worth it. The sweetness of raspberries is further accentuated by the addition of raspberry coulis. The surprisingly delicious lime meringue adds the finishing touch to this marvellous dessert.
Let’s leave Gdańsk and head towards Gdynia. More specifically, the Biały Królik restaurant, which never ceases to amaze. The head chef is Marcin Popielarz, who is renowned for the most delicious and visually stunning vegan, fine-dining culinary experience. Since the menu is strictly seasonal, it’s safe to say that the entire menu at the Biały Królik restaurant is light, smells of summer and a garden after the rain.
But if we were to choose only a few options perfect for hot, summer days, our bet would be on the clear tomato cold soup (chłodnik) with olive oil. Behind this rather terse description hides a tomatoey explosion of flavour in its purest form. The soup’s clear, with light texture, and it’s best to eat it with your eyes closed so that you revere each and every spoonful. After this display of royal flavour, you should try the brandade of smoked cod with cucumbers and dill (the vegan version comes without the cod). It’s remarkable that combining such simple ingredients: potatoes, cod, cucumbers, and dill can produce such a light yet sophisticated dish. If you still have some space for dessert, you should try the ultra-fruity, strawberry parfait with pickled almonds and vanilla sauce. The sweet Kashubian strawberry is complemented by the unmistakable flavour of mildly pickled almonds. It’s a feast for the eyes, as well as for the palate.
After the delicious and refreshing journey along the route of Tri-City’s restaurants, we strongly recommend visiting the beach. A stroll along the coast of the Baltic Sea is — apart from delicious food and drinks — one of the most satisfying ways to stay cool on a hot day.