The summer holidays are here, the weather is perfect for sunbathing and sea bathing. However, even the most enthusiastic beach goers need a break and have to leave their spot in the sun sometime to find a quiet seat in one of numerous seaside restaurants, so welcoming in the summertime, offering the variety of seasonal delicacies in many different flavours and colours.
The restaurant Garden in Rybaki Tavern
When your day on the beach comes to an end, it’s time to visit Rybaki Tavern. Take a seat in the shade of its garden, admire the sea view and taste the local delicacy – fried sprats. Crunchy small fish drizzled with lemon juice is the essence of the seaside holidays. If you are really hungry, go ahead and try another local speciality: fish and chips. The chef, Paweł Komosa, explains in more detail what this dish is like:
“Our flagship dish is fish and chips, a well-known English classic consisting of cod fried in beer batter served with chips in a newspaper roll. We wanted to keep it very close to the original recipe, that’s why we serve it with tartare sauce and mushy peas with pesto. Pesto is the only modification of the original ingredient, mint sauce. I brought the fish and chips recipe from England and modified it only a little, to make it more satisfying for the Polish customer’s palate.”
Rybaki Tavern chef is a true expert in fish. “I come from Mazury lake district, so I have been learning about fish since my early childhood” – he says, adding: “My father is a passionate angler and already as a little boy I accompanied him when he went fishing to watch him catch and dress the fish”.
Rybaki Tavern is located in Sopot, at No. 31 Beach Entrance, whereas at the entrance No. 15 you will come across another restaurant – M15, whose name reveals its location (number 15 being the number of Beach Entrance). The restaurant is situated directly on the beach, so you have a choice: to either sit at the table or spread a blanket on the sand! If you are a bit bored with the beach, sit in the restaurant’s garden, in the best spot, near the pool. The water and the sound of the fountain offer a pleasant, cool ambience during your meal.
The menu in M15 is based on seasonal flavours, with fish as the main feature. The chef, Adrian Gabryszak, plays with various flavours, enriching the classic dishes with new elements. In the summer, every two weeks the restaurant adds an extra page to the main menu, which is made up of dishes prepared with seasonal products.
“Every two weeks we have a new seasonal menu page and each time it features flounder in different versions. Currently we are serving flounder with cherry salsa and pepper sauce, before we served it grilled with tomatoes and in May – with asparagus. It is prepared in many ways and with many sides, but it is always the flounder – being the symbol of Baltic Sea” – explains the chef Adrian Gabryszak. As a dessert on the seasonal menu page, at the time we visited the restaurant, there was a cold sweet cherry soup served with almond ice-cream.
But let’s pass on to the house specials, the regular summer menu dishes famous fish soup is a must-try! What makes it special is the fact that, unlike in other places, it is made with fresh herring. The unique, light taste of the soup is also accentuated with the butter braised onion and new potatoes. It is an absolutely amazing, delicious composition. Listening to the calming background sound of the fountain we tried the main course: a feather-light halibut served with fabulous hollandaise sauce with an invigorating touch of fresh mint. The sauce is well-balanced with the pineapple, tomato and cilantro salsa while the creamy, salty black rice gives the dish a hearty finish. All those tasty items on the menu are available until the end of September.
The restaurant Garden in Mercato
We walk away from the beach, but still remain on the waterfront. On The Motława river bank we stop at the lovely green and flowery garden of Mercato restaurant. As most gourmets know, it is a famous fine dining cuisine restaurant, but only few are aware of the fact that in the summertime it also operates as an alternative concept – Garden Bistro.
Aneta Stelmasiewicz, Mercato PR&Marketing Manager tells us more about the place: “Last year we introduced a special garden menu, quite different from our regular Mercato menu. It was our aim to meet the guests’ needs; not all of them have enough time for fine dining experience, sometimes they would like to stop here for a short lunch break and eat something light yet nutritious”.
From the menu of Garden Bistro we chose the delicious, house-made seafood tagliatelle. We enjoyed it in beautiful outdoor surroundings – sitting on the couch overlooking the river. Then, we had the classic Mercato menu meal at the table. Silky crayfish soup with a surprising addition of popcorn flavoured ice-cream tasted just as good as it looked.
For dessert, the chef Dominik Karpik recommends: “Gdański Bursztyn, a sweet reference to our amber city, based on three flavours – mirabelle plum, chocolate and parsnip. Mirabelle plum ice-cream is topped with the silky, chocolate&parsnip mousse and hay mousse.” The plate is decorated with candied sugar which resembles an amber nugget, a Goldwasser jelly (another reference to Gdańsk local speciality) and edible gold flakes, which add glamour to the dessert. Although it seems almost inappropriate to touch this masterpiece, our taste buds crave the cool sweetness of the mirabelle with all its fancy additions.
The restaurant Garden in Spożywczy Food & Drinks
The last but one stop on our Restaurant Garden Trail is Spożywczy Food & Drinks, a place which is located in the Dolne Miasto district. Sipping on lemonade, we are getting a taste of its summer menu. As a starter, the chef, Marcin Gładczuk, recommends marinated oxheart tomatoes with tomato consomme, summer vegetable salsa, pickled asparagus and a ‘Polish-ed’ chimichurri with parsley and apple. The dish is refreshing and light, perfect for lunch in a garden restaurant.
Marcin, the chef, tells us more about his cuisine concept: “the underlying principle of my cooking style is the simplicity and purity of flavour. I like to ‘Polish’ various dishes, that is – to add typically Polish ingredients to foreign recipes. For instance, on the menu we have a marinated salmon bun with asparagus guacamole. The green, locally grown asparagus replaces the originally used avocado.”
The main course we chose to try was a grilled mackerel with baked apple puree, capers, fennel&grape salad and new potatoes with green onions. The desserts, awaiting the guests in the summertime, are worth a mention, too: cider braised peaches topped with a rhubarb jam crumble and vanilla ice-cream or touilee with mascarpone and curd cheese cream served with seasonal fruits.
Finally, to end our tour, we head for a small village near Puck, Celbowo to visit Nordowi Mól restaurant where you can eat the tastiest cold soup and sit in the most charming restaurant garden ever. The best seats are next to the mill wheel, where the gentle swoosh of water makes the food experience even more pleasant.
The restaurant specialises in Kashubian cuisine, taking advantage of the richness of the region. Marek Hewelt, the owner, says: “We try to use only local produce as a base for our dishes. On our menu you can find trout from the nearby farm on the Reda river, other seasonal fish (turbot or flounder) and the vegetables and herbs come from our garden. We also have our own smokehouse and a deli counter, where we sell the products made here.” Herbs, flowers and vegetables make a short journey from the garden patch to the plate, moreover, the lettuce grown in the adjacent garden can be fed to rabbits kept on the premises – which is a favourite attraction for our younger guests. Another animal attraction here is the stork family, who built their nest above the restaurant building and which can be observed from the restaurant interiors.
But, let’s get back to the food: in Nordowi Mól the best summer starter is a new beetroot cold soup, pink, thick, well-balanced in flavour, hailed as the best of its kind in the region. The author of Nordowi Mól menu is the chef, Sławomir Jankowski. The portions served are quite filling, so some may be full even before the main course. The guests who are hungry for more may try an excellent steak tartar or a tender salmon with garlicky spinach. However, regardless of what you order for lunch or dinner, please save some space for yummy, light yoghurt ice-cream! Accompanied with the strawberry mousse, made with locally grown fruit, it is a perfect dessert for a hot, summer day.
So, whatever you wish to try – the classic fish and chips, a bold tomato concoction, halibut with exotic sides, amber-like dessert or a silky cold summer soup, you can be certain of one thing: during your stay in Pomorskie you are in for a real summer feast!