Let’s face it: autumn has entered its worst stage, and it’s not going to get any better. An entire spectrum of greys, ubiquitous dampness, and lack of sun bode ill for our well-being. There are some ways you can save yourself. We’re going to discuss the means of lifting your autumn spirit with food.
Searching for autumn comfort food, we visited several restaurants in Pomorskie. We began our journey in Wrzeszcz, one of the districts of Gdańsk, shrouded in November mist, where Eliksir, a restaurant and cocktail bar, is located. Our conversation about winter (well, autumn) warmers with Paweł Wątor, the owner, was both interesting and inspiring.
“When talking about winter warmers, we usually have two things in mind: steaming hot foods, or additives that warm you up despite being at room temperature. The latter especially include root spices, but also spicy ingredients, such as garlic or chilli. There are dishes that cannot be overheated, such as medium rare or rare steaks. Ordering these, don’t count on them warming you up,” explained Paweł Wątor.
This is why we decided to try the Eliksir’s hot mushroom soup with a splash of buttermilk, served with dumplings with mushroom filling, and marinated chanterelles. The main dish is full of intense flavours: tender beef cheeks in red wine, with rich, naturally thick demi-glace, soft purée of red cabbage, and potato & mushroom croquettes served with mushroom mayonnaise and lovage olive oil.
Our next stop was Gdański Bowke, another regional restaurant. Our first step was to order hot tea with raspberries and honey, and then start our feast.
“Our new autumn-winter menu comprises dishes made from warming, seasonal ingredients. One of our regional dishes, wild boar bacon with demi-glace, is served with seasonal vegetables: caramelised beets, parsley root purée, and Broccolini,” says Marcin Faliszek, owner of the restaurant.
“I also recommend honey ribs served with potato dumplings (kopytka), and if you’re a lighter eater — the Gdańsk Fishermen Soup, a hot dish with ginger and chilli, with Baltic salmon as base”.
Not far from Gdański Bowke, going along the Motława river, is Correze restaurant. The delicious broth of roasted duck, served with a dumpling filled with duck confit, dried apricot, shitake mushrooms and peanuts, is an excellent remedy for November. It’s wonderfully warm and envelops the palate with a multitude of flavours. We tried Correze’s vegetarian main dish: roasted seasonal vegetables (scorzonera, Jerusalem artichoke, roasted potato, kale, parsnip) with edible chestnuts, blue cheese, and almonds. This dish is a beautiful tribute to seasonality, with November root vegetables and green kale playing main parts.
But it wasn’t the end of our adventure, as in came the dessert: chocolate fondant with marinated pear, juniper crumble, roasted pear mousse with rosemary, and sweet cream ice-cream with Roquefort cheese that makes it stand out. It’s delicious, it’s soothing, and it’s something that will chase away all the scares autumn may have brought.
The last stop on our journey in search of (autumn) warmers in the restaurants of Pomorskie was Leśny Dwór in Sulęczyno. It’s a place that looks stunning all year round, so we decided to start with a stroll along Węgorzyno lake, which at this time of year is often covered in mist. Of course, we would be cold after that, and there’s nothing better than a bowl of hot, delicious, regional soup made from Kashubian rutabaga, served with a croquette with duck filling. If you have never tried rutabaga soup, you have to visit Leśny Dwór. The soup is thick, filling, and keeps a perfect balance between sweet and salty. Pickled rutabaga gives it a sour note. The main dish of our choice was tender roasted quails, served with crunchy chestnuts, thick demi-glace, and beetroot with delicious black lilac mousse.
Any space left for dessert? Excellent, because pear cooked in dried rhubarb (!) with ice cream and a note of bay leaf was waiting. The pear is beautiful and pink, its sweetness broken with a note of rhubarb. The ice-cream served with it accentuate the dish. It’s like playing the hot and cold game, but with food. An excellent culmination of dinner!
These were but a few suggestions for an autumn feast in a selected few restaurants of Pomorskie. We hope that we have inspired you to explore the regional flavours!