Seasoned residents may remember this venue as home to Café Brama; one of modern Warsaw’s original café chains, and one of the first to go under once the city found its mojo. Filling the narrow space vacated by that lot is DE, an artsy offshoot of the theatre next door. And very nice it is. I’m a fan of Warsaw’s growing collection of ‘culture’ café/bar/restaurants, and this one looks better than most. No second hand collectibles here, just a minimal look accented by stark steel colors and exposed pipes that snake overhead.
The visual kaleidoscope is dominated by grey, but in a city gushing with jarring artwork that’s more gaudy than Gaudi that’s certainly a plus. That’s not to say there isn’t color – a kid’s corner adds illumination with powder blue and Barbie pink seats, as well as the leftover crayon work of Under 5 masters. And there’s plenty of that here: popular with young families steering three wheeler buggies, it’s one of the few local haunts that embraces people of all age and height.
Particularly lively are nights when culture nerds file out of the TR theater, taking their place at the white tiled bar to deliberate and debate matters of arty importance. Offering ‘slow food in the fast city’ the menu has long been applauded by those in the know. Making use of fresh, seasonal ingredients, the concise food list embraces concepts of healthy living, and includes a marvelous gazpacho that’s just right for summer.
Myself though, I see my body not as a temple but as an all-night kebab stand. For that reason, I was delighted to note their offer covers burgers. A little less delightful was the price tag attached: zł. 45! At that cost, I expect a burger made from panda. Instead, begrudgingly, I settled for a goat cheese salad – fortunately for me, healthy eating has rarely tasted better. Completing the picture, find a shaded garden with a wild, untamed look. Perfect for procrastination, it’s a pleasing oasis in an area strangled by concrete. (AW)