Having first carved a name as importers, the Rascal team have returned with what has reportedly become the biggest natural wine bar in the whole of Europe…
Actually, there’s two! Created by Dominika Buck and Radek Drabik, this duo carry considerable weight in Poland’s creative circles – her, as a designer and architect, and him as a film producer. Sharing a love for natural wine, together they created Natural Rascal – beginning as an importer, last year saw another step taken with the opening of a teeny, tiny bottle shop on Emili Plater. Now though, their success has led them to take the biggest leap of all: a flagship bar on prestigious Moliera.
Set in the heart of Warsaw’s theater quarter (though ‘quarter’ might be an ambitious term), this striking two-tone piece of modernist architecture unfolds to reveal a gorgeously appointed space that is a tribute to Buck’s design ethos. Looking stripped down to maximize the original accents, what was once reputedly a canteen for ballet dancers today features a mix and match of tables, plenty of exposed concrete and a tall entrance curtain through which to swish.
Sprinkled with small, custom-made trinkets, there’s enough going on to ensure that the sparsity is never too heavy. Crowned with a veneered, marble-topped bar, it’s a beauty to behold – a point not lost on the Vogue staffers and fashionista that have made this their domain.
The interior is pleasingly cool and works especially well at the height of Warsaw’s steamy summers – but to enjoy the Rascal to the max, head to the backyard. A collection of potted shrubs lend this gravelly space plenty of color, and these are juxtaposed against the spectacular concrete form of the apartment block it faces – it feels like you’re looking at a game of Tetris.
No-one has done more in Poland to popularize natural wines than the co-owners of Rascal. With a motherlode of bottles in their collection, these have been picked out with something of an obsessive passion. Bringing niche and alternative producers to the fore, the choice is a celebration of the alternative with Buck and Drabek only working with wineries that follow ‘dry-farming’ methods.
Lacking in enhancers, artificial nasties and synthetic additives, these unconventional wines are as natural as is possible – which means not only do they taste intriguing, but they’re also hangover free! Often adorned with highly graphic and unusual labels, these pair well against a team of staff not short on captivating tattoos.
Not only do they do food, they do it very well. Kept to little plates of this and that, this includes boczniak with parmesan on toast as well as a to-die-for rhubarb dessert with whipped cream and strawberry dust.
ul. Moliera 6