We need to keep warm in autumn and winter, but a blanket and a radiator are not enough to survive this season in good shape. You need to keep warm from the inside as well. The best way to do it is through rich, aromatic food. Take a while to explore the delicacies prepared by head chefs in Pomorskie region.
When thinking about autumn and winter warmers, you’d most probably first think of soups and various spices. This time, we’ll take a different approach: in the Gdynia-based Osteria Fino, the head chefs: Jacek Koprowski and Mateusz Sikora prepared a warming steak tartare. Indeed, after a few bites of this delicious meal with crispy Jerusalem artichoke crisps, pickled shimeji mushrooms, and truffle mayonnaise, the pronounced spicy note starts to warm you up from the inside. Chilli has done its job perfectly.
Just taking a look at the second course will warm you up! We’re up against raviolo con uovo, which is ravioli with egg yolk. The Italian classic is spiced up with a pronounced pumpkin mousse and goat’s cheese. To top it up, everything is covered in nutty-flavoured brown butter, twisted with fried almonds. What a treat!
But wait, there’s more! The cream of pumpkin soup served in the Słupsk-based Dym na Wodzie restaurant, is delicious and looks like sunset on a plate. The head chef and owner in one person, Rafał Niewiarowski, together with his deputy, Piotr Barański, made sure the soup is perfectly balanced. Coconut milk brings out the creamy flavour of pumpkin, and the mix of chilli, ginger, lemongrass and curry gives it a spicy twist. The second course, ribs with cabbage, sounds like a classic, but it’s served in an extraordinary way. Let’s see what the head chef has to say:
“The ribs are our absolute number one in our autumn menu. This year, we’re serving them with plum chutney, buckwheat groats popcorn, and fried cabbage with cranberries. The base of the dish is sauerkraut, which we prepare on our own, as pretty much all of our ingredients. We roast whole ribs, then we separate the meat from the bones and pull it, reduce the sauce and form them into a ball that we stuff on a clean bone. We fry everything at the end.”
Pałac Poraj in Poraj is a mandatory stop on the way from Słupsk to the Tricity. Or a final destination on your way, as you should totally plan a trip to this picturesque, cosy place full of delicious flavours. The manor presents itself splendidly, both in warm, autumn sun, and shrouded in winter mist. The very sight of its cosy interiors has a warming effect. The owner and friendly staff are responsible for the atmosphere, and the head chef, Krzysztof Pacak, is responsible for keeping you warm. We sampled the outstanding vegetarian menu during our autumn visit. Meatless broth from roasted vegetables, served with home-made dumplings is wonderful, soothing stuff. The cabbage “steak”, served with potato puree and an insane roasted pumpkin and garlic sauce with pistachios is a dish with several layers of flavour. For dessert, you should try the plum dumpling, floating in butter, delightfully soft and fragrant with cinnamon. Excellent!
Back to the Tricity. At the Canis restaurant in Gdańsk, head chef Mateusz Janusz plays with the flavours of late autumn brilliantly. Cream of Jerusalem artichoke served with crispy dumplings with compressed pear and grey Reinnete mousse is a masterful combination of late autumn flavours. Dumplings with roasted sturgeon and cottage cheese, served with French blue cheese sauce and topped with green peppercorns are pleasantly crispy, and tingle the taste buds. And for those who are thirsty for meat, there is lamb, served in two versions: shank braised in red wine with a hint of anise and cloves, and loin, combined with a wonderful puree of roasted carrots with turmeric and demi-glace sauce. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also roasted pumpkin cake with goat’s cheese and walnut crumble, with a hint of lavender. A great taste experience guaranteed!
Soup lovers should also visit the Filharmonia restaurant in Gdańsk, where you can try a unique mustard soup. This traditional Kashubian recipe is a wonderful warming dish, and an interesting regional classic that is hard to find on the menus of other establishments. To remain in the regional atmosphere, you should order the tender goose leg served with Kashubian golce, delicate potato dumplings. All the ingredients of the dish, from the potatoes to the goose and the spices, come from regional suppliers. The autumn menu also features deer in unusual Jaegermeister sauce, served with a delicious potato casserole, marinated fennel and black pudding puree. And for dessert, we recommend a delicious spicy tea on the restaurant’s viewing terrace – the view of Długie Pobrzeże will make your heart beat faster.
It is on Długie Pobrzeże Street that a cult restaurant serving dishes inspired by Old Gdansk cuisine is located. The Gdański Bowke, as it is known, is a place with a unique atmosphere. Here you can drink the Gdańsk Machandel (juniper vodka traditionally served with smoked plums), warm up with Goldwasser or a delicious fish soup with crayfish. The soup is prepared with Baltic salmon and the warming note of ginger. If you still have room for a second warming dish, chef Marcin Faliszek recommends the slow-roasted wild boar bacon that will melt in your mouth, served with blackcurrant, roasted parsley and demi-glace sauce.
In the M15 restaurant in Sopot, which is open all year round, we try a dill vegan krupnik soup with spelt groats, potatoes and porcini mushrooms, which is pleasantly warming and filling. For the second course, Chef Adrian Gabryszak recommends goose meat in an unusual version, prepared in beetroot acid, with demi-glace sauce enriched with beetroot juice, which brings out the sweetness of the dish. With the goose, the chef serves delicious, garlic-buttered hot swede and soft potato dumplings.
Chef Adrian knows more about goose than most, as he is the only one in the Tri-City area to hold the title of the King of Goose Meat, which is reflected in the menu, featuring as many as six goose dishes in November. We got lucky during our meal as the sun emerges from behind the clouds. Without a second thought, we move to the M15 terrace on the beach. We finish our meal with the sound of the sea in our ears, sipping a delicious tea with quince and dried fruit (the choice of warming drinks is large).
During late autumn strolls, you should take some time for a trip to Sulęczyno, to the Forest Manor, which is the location of the Biôłi Trus restaurant (which means White Rabbit in the Kashubian language). Situated on Lake Węgorzyno in the surroundings of a picturesque park, the restaurant is an ideal late autumn destination. At the helm of the kitchen here are chefs Marcin Popielarz and Łukasz Miecznikowski. We recommend starting your menu sampling with the unusual onion soup. This is how Łukasz Miecznikowski describes it:
“I first prepare the onion marmalade, which gives the soup its intensity. I’m very fond of vinegar in the kitchen. In this case, I used cherry and white wine vinegar in large quantities to bring out as much flavour as possible from the onions. The biscuit on top of the soup is a crunchy almond and parmesan cracker, and on top is pecorino, dried dill and mushroom powder, which at first visual glance looks a bit like a camouflage.”
The gratin potato casserole, on the other hand, is a nod to the abundance of mushrooms in autumn. The potatoes are layered with truffle mousse and portobello mushrooms, as well as sautéed mushrooms and pickled garlic. The mushroom and potato earthiness is complemented by celery, and the sweet note of apples give it a refreshing taste.
We started our journey through warming dishes in a non-obvious way and this is how we will end it. We take a peek into Gdynia, where a row of inconspicuous pavilions houses AleBrowar. We take a peek into the workings of a craft brewery, where you can sample a dozen amazing beers (including non-alcoholic ones) on site or take some bottles home. We talk to KarolinaWicencia, the venue’s manager, who is infectious with her smile and passion.
“In autumn, we feature heavier, spicy notes. This year, we have released two pumpkin beers,” says Karolina, “one of which is inspired by the pumpkin spice latte, an autumn coffee classic. Like pumpkin coffee, our beer is filled with strong, spicy notes – cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. It has a delicate, sweet flavour, and has a strong hint of coffee. On the other hand, the Christmas edition of the beers will be released in early December, and this year one of them will have notes of orange peel and warming spices.”
The pumpkin beer is an unusual surprise, but an even greater one came when Karolina recommends dishes from the neighbouring establishments to go with the drinks: pumpkin pizza from the Czerwony Piec restaurant, and bowl of Japanese-style chicken with lots of delicious toppings from Honolulu Wise Food. As it turns out, this delicious trio work together and complement each other.
The warming dishes have different faces and forms, but they have one thing in common: a lingering taste that makes you want to come back for more.