Restaurant with character: Blood and water
The name of the place can say a lot. And so it is with Pieterwas Krew i Woda restaurant, where the name is an expression of the type of dishes served there, and a reflection of the personality of the chef. Blood means meat appears in the menu, and water suggests the presence of seafood and fish.
My assumption is confirmed by the head chef and co-owner of the premises, Mariusz Pieterwas, who supplementing it with an additional thread: “Many people think that blood and water are my and my wife’s characters, I am the blood. I run this restaurant on my own terms, that’s why I put my name in the restaurant name. I’m black and white and I cook like that. So we have an open kitchen here, always the most important thing for me has been the guest, and a face-to-face relationship. I like to know who I’m cooking for, when the guest comes for my dishes. The restaurant’s atmosphere, the chemistry between the guest and the place, and the service, all count.”
Mr Pieterwas is a chef with twenty years of experience, a rich career path and expressive views on food and cooking. Perhaps that’s why our conversation was the most interesting one I’ve ever done. He is best placed to talk about flavours of Krew i Woda: “I have been running my own kitchen for years. I cook and invent my own things, and my tastes have shaped my travels and work with different nationalities.” My pillars are Thai and French cuisine, and I like to combine and interweave them. Of course, in my style I like creative, spontaneous and quick cooking, and I like aggressive and expressive flavors, on the verge of sweet, sour and salty. Most people appreciate this style, because the guests come back to me for specific dishes. I do not like fine dining and I say this openly. For me it represents form over substance, and the time for fine dining has come to an end – in Poland it never really even developed. I like restaurants where you come to eat, and that’s what Blood and Water is all about. ”
In terms of menu, the chef says openly: “My card is unchanging, it is thirteen years old. Of course, I have improved it and modified it along the way. I assume that guests return to the chef’s chosen favorite items and taste what they have been missing. I am playing with a seasonal board with a short menu, and sometimes the board changes every two weeks or every week; there are no strict rules. ”
In terms of seasonality and local cuisine, he adds: “In Poland, chefs are divided into two camps: those who think that you should be guided by seasonality and those operating under an assumption that nowadays we have access to the best products from around the world and seasonality is not the key to cooking. I choose the best quality products, but I do not have any fears about importing them from abroad. Of course seasonal ingredients appear on the menu, but I do not highlight their presence. And new ideas and culinary trends are born during chefs’ meetings and by cooking together.”
The Pieterwas Krew i Woda restaurant has a bit of beef and pork, as well as plenty of seafood and fish. As the co-owner, Marta Pieterwas, emphasizes: “our philosophy includes an absence of venison, fur animals and the meat of young animals (lamb, veal). The lobsters on the menu are killed humanely. “. The menu tempts with basically everything from soups (e.g. fish soup with tomatoes, ramen with octopus), shellfish (e.g. lobster in lobster stock), to fish dishes (e.g. udon with lobster meat, risotto with calamari and shrimps with gorgonzola) and desserts (e.g. fruits in port, cheesecake brulee with sorbet of mango-passion fruit with peach sauce). There are also items for vegetarians and a card with dishes for the little ones.
With the help of the chef, I choose the dishes that I will try. We go for the classic: for appetizers, I get chicken livers – velvety but expressive in taste – in red wine with shallots and roasted almonds (they have been on the menu from the very beginning).
Then I try Atlantic cod with risotto of chorizo and spinach and a beurre-blanc sauce. The fish is perfectly prepared and plays beautifully with the risotto, but the star of the plate is the wonderful sauce.
The last dish, beef cheek stewed in goose fat with potato puree, demi glace and bearnaise sauce with pickled cucumber is the quintessence of simple but beautiful flavors. Once again, I am impressed with the sauce, and grateful to the French for this contribution to world cuisine, as well as to the chef. These are beautifully interlaced classics prepared with a free style.
The Pieterwas Krew i Woda restaurant also boasts a great wine list, which is appreciated every year by the Wine Spectator Award. In addition to wines, guests can enjoy beers from the local Amber brewery, vodka made from new potatoes or seasonal liqueurs (eg strawberry with vanilla, currant, rhubarb or blueberry) which are the work of the chef. I leave the restaurant feeling spoiled with delicious but not over-compressed food at the highest level, and richer for this fascinating look at cooking presented to me by the chef.
Pieterwas Krew i Woda
Abrahama 41, Gdynia
phone:. + 48 570 282 282