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Spring is the most fun time in the kitchen. Tired of monotonous flavours, with a sense of relief we abandon winter stocks and heavy dishes. Now it’s all about green, light and crisp!

Spring menu at The Spożywczy Food & Drinks

Our first culinary association: early spring veggies. Crispy radishes, juicy cucumbers and fragrant chives are the best of what this season brings. Marcin Gładczuk, head chef of Spożywczy Food & Drinks restaurant in  Gdańsk, is creatively using early spring vegetables in his dishes. The classic “gzik” – curd cheese with onions and radishes – has become a filling for pierogi. Dressed herring has undergone a spring lifting: instead of mayonnaise, it is covered in a layer of curd cheese and fresh cucumber slices. One of our favourite spring veggies, radishes, are available raw or pickled, and can be found in a delicious sandwich with chicken and asparaguses pickled in low-salt brine. Yes, you read this right,  Marcin Gładczuk makes some delicious pickled asparaguses! “We only serve seasonal vegetables. Whatever is left, we try to turn into pickles, so that we can serve them all year round. Asparaguses in low-salt brine follow the same recipe as cucumbers: brine, garlic and horseradish,” explained the chef.

Brovarnia Restaurant with the spring menu

Speaking of asparaguses, we strongly recommend basking in the sun in the summer garden of Brovarnia restaurant in Gdańsk. The head chef, Jarosław Waloch, has prepared some classic asparagus dishes. Crispy green asparaguses with hollandaise sauce, poached eggs, and crispy bacon or, if you’re really hungry, cod with asparaguses, orange hollandaise sauce and potatoes. “Spring in Brovarnia starts around Easter,” said the head chef. “This is the time that baby beet greens appear in our menu, together with light salads and a separate asparagus menu,” he added.

Eliksir Restaurant and spring dishes

But young spring vegetables are much more than this. Mini carrots and mini courgettes are highlights of the plate composed by the head chef of the restaurant Eliksir, Paweł Wątor. Slightly blanched to maintain maximum flavour and firmness, they are served with crayfish velouté, tender halibut, and cherry tomato confit. The entire thing is topped with dill olive oil and a roasted potato, with an intriguing, smoky flavour. The appetizer is just as delicious, but let the chef tell you all about it: “I combined golden, sweet scallops and a smooth purée of baby cauliflower with a pinch of coffee to accentuate the earthy flavour of the vegetable. The sour, refreshing element of this dish consists of thin slices of pickled cauliflower, topped with some crunch and green colour in the form of peas and beans, and nasturtium, which has a radish aftertaste for me.”

Spring menu at the Masna Micha

Masna Micha, another restaurant located on the Garnizon housing complex, just a few steps from Eliksir. Here, spring seems to be the only season of the year, full of delicious, healthy food. Maciej Kościński, the co-owner, says about the concept of the restaurant:  “We mainly serve bowls, wraps, and salads. Bowls are dishes filled with seasonal vegetables, both fresh and marinated, with groats and animal or plant protein. We switch our menu every three months. Right now, we are introducing the spring menu, filled with early spring vegetables.” Masna Micha is a place that focuses on ecology – from its own compost bin, to products from reliable local suppliers, to reusable packaging (you can buy reusable bowls to collect your takeaway orders).

Spring menu at Piwna 47 Restaurant

When the days are still cold, we strongly recommend paying a visit to Piwna 47 Food & Wine Bar, with a veranda that will shelter you from cool, spring days.  The head chef, Marcin Faliszek, has prepared a menu full of light dishes for the early days of spring. “I recommend chicken and basil pesto linguine with garden herbs: lovage, parsley, and dill. The dish is refreshing, fragrant, and light – without cream or any unnecessary fats.” Grab a glass of excellent wine and enjoy spring, no matter the aura.

Spring veggies and Polskie Smaki Restaurant

Spring has come to Sopot. Pansies and crocuses are in bloom. From the windows of Polskie Smaki restaurant, we’re watching seaside alleys in blossom, full of people strolling along the pier, their faces to the sun.  A moment later, we turn our attention towards a beautifully designed spring-style plate with a dish prepared by the head chef, Krystian Szidel. Early spring vegetables are an annual inspiration for the chef, who appreciates crispiness, freshness, and mild flavours.  The Baltic herring with pickled radishes, salmon with asparaguses, sorrel soup with roasted bacon and poached egg, or salad of early spring vegetables are only a fraction of chef’s delicious ideas to welcome spring.

Spring at the Fisherman Restaurant

Spring of the plate can have a surprising face. Rafal Koziorzemski, head of the Sopot-based restaurant Fisherman, explored forests and meadows in search of early spring produce.  “For me, these are young wild plant shoots and roots. In spring, I pick young ground elder, slightly sour bitter dock, I look for wild chives and wood garlic,” said the chef. The end of March is the time when young nettle appears, whose stems are the sweetest and most delicate. I use the full potential of wood garlic, adding it to butter, soups, pesto, or our limited edition of home-baked bread.” Ground elder appears in red beet Carpaccio with vegan curd cheese, as well as the amazing beef tartare with pickled mushrooms and smoked mayonnaise. Salmon layered with original “pork fat” of squid is a paean in honour of early spring vegetables, with pickled wood garlic shoots, young marinated leek, and wild chive bulbs or spring buttercups. All covered with intensely green chive olive oil.

Sea spring vegetables at the Grand Blue Restaurant

Asparaguses are a spring must-eat. And what about sea asparaguses? In the Grand Blue restaurant in Sopot, chef Tomasz Iwańca has created an original menu, in which elements of traditional Polish cuisine mix with the so-called Blue Food Assessement, i.e. food originating from aquatic environments, including sea plants or algae. And so, the menu comprises sea asparaguses, commonly known as pickleweed, which can easily be called young sea spring vegetables as they begin appearing in April. The chef said, “The so-called blue food has great nutritional value, and plenty of nutrients. It is also ecological. I wanted to show that you can put it in any dish, not necessarily connected to the sea.” And so, you can have a tuna tartare, tender beyond imagination, with a pronounced, salty marine flavour of pickleweed. Another interesting piece of food is the umi-budō, or sea grapes, which goes as side dish with smoked pigeon breast. I think the most beautiful dish on the menu is scallops with blue spirulina, fennel mousse, and caramelized red beets.

As you can see, fresh spring produce comes in many shapes and forms, but one thing is certain: restaurants of Pomorskie can satisfy the needs of anyone who longs for spring on their plate.

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