Far from the urban hustle and bustle of the Tricity, surrounded by a historic park, there is a stylish 19th-century palace. The picturesque locality, elegant palace interiors as well as incredibly friendly and professional service make everyone feel exceptional here.
The Pałac Kościeszy Hotel lies away from busy tourist routes but in the close vicinity of the Tricity. This is an undeniable asset, as the peace and quiet of the place match the local ambience perfectly. You cannot rush here.
A visit to the Pałac Kościeszy Hotel and its restaurant, the Inspiracja, is an interesting culinary journey with Rafał Kopicki as the guide. We had been looking forward to that visit for a long time, having heard only positive opinions about the cuisine served here. What sealed our decision was the information that the restaurant was recommended by Slow Food Poland. This recommendation is a great honour: only two restaurants in Pomerania and eleven in Poland have received it.
Regional cuisine is served at the Inspiracja in an unconventional manner, using modern technologies. Vegetables, fruit, and herbs come directly from the chef’s garden and the remaining ingredients are mostly bought from local farmers, which guarantees top quality and freshness. Even liqueurs are made in-house – so, it is a good idea to leave your car at the car park and stay in one of the hotel’s tastefully decorated rooms.
Rafał creates his dishes with remarkable passion, which we had an opportunity to see for ourselves when we ordered a few dishes from the tasting menu and one main course.
The meal started with cold-smoked venison, served with nut crumble and multi-grain bread pastry twists. Distinctive in taste and slightly salty, the tender meat made a wonderful combination with the crispy crumble and the pastry twists. An interesting sauce of anise and parsley added colour and flavour to the dish. However, the greatest curiosity, adding variety to the dish thus served, was the pine perfume that the chef sprinkled over the plate – and six kinds of flavoured salts, e.g. herb-flavoured or… strawberry-flavoured.
The venison on our plates was soon joined by goose, which had the form of very savoury chopped meat with crispy leek hay and black salsify (viper’s herb), a forgotten ingredient in Polish cuisine. The dish was served with strong stock poured over it and accompanied by small chanterelles.
After those two culinary experiences, time came for goat cheese. The colours of the dish were arranged in such a way as if it was meant to praise the Kashubian region: white cheese was matched with red and blue fruits of the forest as well as decorated with green nasturtium leaves. Fruits of the forest counterpoint the delicate creamy taste of the cheese with their slightly tart flavour. A delectable element was amaranth seeds, placed on sweet Kashubian honey and making an exceptionally intriguing pattern on the plate. Another trimming was frozen and powdered goat cheese, which, in combination with blackcurrant, apple, and mango sauces, appropriately complemented the whole dish.
Stylishly served on ice, cold cucumber soup turned out to be frothy poetry of taste, with compressed cucumber with marinated ginger and powdered oil adding a sparkle. The dish was decorated with a “lollipop” made of a cucumber coated in coloured pepper and roasted millet groats – plus tiny cucumbers, which we found truly touching.
Salmon tartare – beautifully served: one of the best I have ever eaten. On a small wooden board I found trimmings served with the tartare: marinated beetroot with yoghurt and dill sauce, pickled boletus mushrooms with crunchy multi-grain bread, and – emphasizing the taste – Cyprus and mushroom salt.
The main course proposed by the chef was wild boar. Four solid pieces of meat fully satisfied our appetite. The juicy meat served with beetroot and carrot purée and with boletus mushrooms – indispensable in this set of ingredients – retained the game aftertaste that I like so much while at the same time retaining extraordinary tenderness.
The dessert also delighted me with its appearance, form, and taste. It was based on three forms of milk: roasted, condensed, and baked. A crispy flake of roasted milk and a meringue provided contrast for the soft consistency of the dessert – resembling panna cotta, known to everyone. A touch of nostalgia and a memory of childhood was evoked by… candyfloss, decorating the dish.
Finally, we tasted cherry and green hazelnut liqueur. Strong and intense in taste, it crowned our visit to the Inspiracja in a truly royal way.
Concluding our visit to the Pałac Kościeszy, we can safely say: “see you soon!” – as the place is one of those you return to: to have another go at the tasting menu or even to attend a cooking course run by Rafał Kopicki, revealing some of the secrets of his magic cuisine.
Goose – 20 PLN
Goat cheese – 20 PLN
Salmon tartare – 20 PLN
Cold cucumber soup – 20 PLN
Wild boar – 36 PLN
Dessert – 20 PLN
Text: Iwona Kowalska, photos: Joanna Ogórek
Łapińska 1, Przyjaźń
phone: +48 58 684 95 32
[mapa]ul. Łapińska 1, Przyjaźń[/mapa]