Near the Green Gate, in Powroźnicza Street, there is a restaurant with a name suggestive of the port, the Tawerna (Tavern). In front of the entrance, in the shade of the walls of Gdańsk’s Old Town, you will see a nice pavement café, and at the rear of the restaurant – a terrace on the bank of the Motława River. As the manager informs us, there was a restaurant here even before the war. Later it belonged to the Społem cooperative – and that institution left the original décor here that survives to this day. For 90 years now, the Tawerna has been privately owned, at present by Włodzimierz Soroczyński. The collector’s interests of past and present owners have filled the restaurant with plenty of original marine artifacts, such as a steering wheel, a ship bell, or beautiful model sailing ships hanging under the ceiling. On the walls we can see reproductions of works by famous seascape painters and tables are separated by wooden balustrades that we know from sea ships. The restaurant’s showpiece is the long counter, carved in dark wood and tipped with a gargoyle replica. The Tawerna is a place with a soul. The history and uniqueness of its interior: is perceptible: plenty of dark wood, the stone-tiled floor, the warm light of stylish lamps – all this makes you want to sit down and stay here longer. What we liked especially was the antique-looking coffeemaker, hidden behind the counter.
The Chef, Tomasz Czerniawski, serves typical Old Polish cuisine. You will find here grilled lamb leg steak savoured with sage leaves and coriander seeds, roasted duck served with red cabbage savoured with grated gingerbread and served with apples glazed in plum vodka, as well as traditional pork knuckle with honey. As befits a tavern, the menu includes numerous fish dishes: tench in cream, flounder stuffed – rather unusually – with crab meat, trout, halibut, cod, and many others.
As an appetizer, we decided to give a try to Polish pâté with game and herrings in three flavours. Two sizeable portions of pâté served with flambéed boletus mushrooms, mixed salad greens, and clarified wild cowberry made a good start of the dinner. The sourish cranberry sauce perfectly counterpointed the taste of the pâté and the salad supplemented it well. The three flavours of herrings are: the tomato flavour (based on dried tomatoes and capers), the mushroom flavour (delicate), and herring with salad of pickled cucumber, potato, parsley, and white mustard (fairly spicy).
For the first course, we were offered Old Polish sour rye soup (żurek) and wild mushroom soup. Served in the traditional way in a bread loaf, made on sourdough and smoked bacon, the sour rye soup turned out to be very pleasant in taste. Gently sour, counterpointed by delicate overtones of garlic and wild mushrooms, it was accompanied by a farmhouse egg. The mushroom soup delighted us with its beautiful smell and strong, intense flavour, which could be softened with the separately served cream. The perfect consistency and taste of batter dumplings complemented…
Following the waiter’s advice, we ordered zander and wild boar. The fillet of zander, a noble fish, had delicate and juicy meat, complemented by savoury sauce of boletus mushrooms. Pleasantly grilled potatoes, crunchy on the outside and creamy inside, smelt surprisingly of bonfire smoke. Th fish was served with perfectly cooked string beans, peas, and carrots. We strongly recommend it.
Roasted wild boar neck rolled with bacon, served over wild cowberry sauce, is a dish largely based on forest ingredients and at the same time an Old Polish one. The soft and well-seasoned game arranged on a bed of delicious red cabbage made a delicious dish. The sightly sour cowberry sauce made a good combination with the wild cut of meat, and ripe boletus mushrooms constituted a refined complement. With that, we also had an interesting potato casserole as a side dish.
The appropriate finale the meal was traditional apple pie with a crunchy crumble topping, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Pâté – 39 PLN
Herrings – 35 PLN
Sour rye soup (żurek) – 23 PLN
Mushroom soup – 23 PLN
Zander – 66 PLN
Roasted wild boar neck – 89 PLN
Apple pie – 23 PLN
Text and photos: Iwona Kowalska
Powroźnicza 19/20 Gdańsk
phone: 58 301 41 14
[mapa]ul. Powroźnicza 19, Gdańsk[/mapa]