Promoted as ‘a night to remember’ our 10th Annual Best of Warsaw Food & Drink Awards was just that – unless you were one of many who took the hospitality a step too far and ended up with minor amnesia. A resounding success, we’d like to take the opportunity once more to thank those who joined our editorial panel on the jury: journalist Monika Powalisz, two secret bloggers representing Restaurantica.pl and Froblog.pl, and chef Joseph Seeletso.
After much heated debate and passionate appeals, the winners from the food side of things were decided as follows:
Wojciech Modest Amaro
To bestow Amaro with anything less than an outstanding achievement award would have belittled just what he’s accomplished – having earned Poland’s first Michelin star, he’s become more than a chef, rather an emblem and embodiment of everything new Polish cuisine stands for. Outsiders might dismiss such praise as sycophancy, clearly however, they’ve not eaten in Atelier Amaro.
What started the year as a much talked about restaurant has raised itself not just a level, but several. Focused, assured and supremely talented, chef Jacek Grochowina has created a tremendous dining room which reflects his cooking: a modern, world class standard with a personalized twist. A small minority criticize the prices: yes, the bill can be tall, but those few who vent complaints clearly have no place in a restaurant – cooking of this level is a rare find, and not just in Warsaw. This is one of a clutch of restaurants spearheading Poland’s gastronomic development, and a place where you sense greatness in the making.
Fine dining has made a huge impact in recent times, but there’s also a series of restaurants that have demonstrated you can still muddle thrilling menus and top-class ingredients without demanding a fortune in return. But none of these restaurants have come close to doing so in the same way as Kaskrut. A couple of our categories went to the wire, but this one was a shoe-in and possibly the easiest decision of the night. A very worthy winner that we’re convinced will inspire more than its share of inferior copycats.
So close was this category, it went to a revote: in the end, Paweł Oszczyk emerged as winner, and a worthy one at that. Commanding huge respect and admiration amongst his peers, ‘the chef’s chef’ also has an almost obsessive following amongst Warsaw’s fine diners. At La Rotisserie he has thrived, turning it into one of the top dining spaces in Central Eastern Europe. So said one of our panel, “you wonder just how he hasn’t been given a Michelin star yet.” Surely, it’s a matter of time.
Best Restaurant Design
Once upon a time restaurants in Warsaw wishing to look a bit classy would drown themselves in flowers, frills and faux manor house touches. Amazingly, many still persist in doing so. But there is hope, and showing people how to really do it right is Signature. We’ve spoken oodles of times about what makes the design special, so we shan’t once again. Instead, we’ll just tell you to go there and suck it all in. You’ll be amazed – and not just by the aesthetics. In the form of Wojciech Kilian, they’ve recruited one of the most thrilling culinary talents in the capital.