In the heart of Warsaw, Winestone is making the little things count…
It’s all about the details. Even before a meal lands, you can tell a lot about a restaurant from the contents of the bread basket – that’s the law of first impressions. And sure, while the art of baking is enjoying a local resurgence, that’s rarely evident in the actual restaurants of Warsaw. So take a look at Winestone: the result of a five-day fermentation process, the bread here is a thing of beauty – a satisfying, crunchy crust, and a deep flavor that’s heightened by the surprisingly herby hit of the Dukkah dip. “We’ve sold one million breads since launching,” smiles Paweł Anders, “enough to stretch around the world six times.”
Educated at the esteemed Lenotre culinary academy, Anders is the heart, mind and soul behind Winestone. Launched in 2013, his creation has since been rolled-out and replicated in Mercure hotels around Poland – and beyond. No wonder. Evolving beyond a mere hotel-based ‘restobar’, Winestone’s triumph lies in achieving a balance between lodgers from upstairs and repeat local custom.
Why do they come? The bread of heaven aside, it’s a question best answered by Anders himself: “Our approach is simple,” he says, “Winestone is about atmosphere, affordability and quality. We’re here to fulfil expectations – even if you don’t know what you want, we’ll work it out and give you what you want.”
And yes, the atmosphere is key. Not here the departure lounge ambiance of your typical hotel, instead find a finely tuned interior designed to convey different moods: a communal table, sofas, high chairs – all split-up creating a range of nooks and corners in which to dally and dwell. Big on solid wood and natural stone, it’s a place that adopts a buzzy mood and a contemporary vibe while never being loud and ‘in your face’.
Of course, wine is also an inescapable factor. Taking prominence by the entrance is the wine corner, its diverse choice deviating from the expected standards. “I don’t want catalogue wine you can find everywhere else,” says Anders, “I want wine with a story.” And that story tastes so much better with a seasonally influenced menu composed of light planches and more hefty offers – the bridge between the two being ingredients that speak of integrity and truth. Whether it’s acorn-fed Belotta ham, a classic club sandwich, or more complex French-inspired offers, this is cuisine that is attractive, accessible and always authentic. And with so much available to go, there’s never a problem taking a piece of Winestone home…
ul. Złota 48/54 (Mercure Warszawa Centrum), mercure.com
ul. Krucza 28 (Hotel Mercure Warszawa Grand)