Guess who’s back! Hailed by many as Poland’s most maverick chef, Aleksander Baron returns to the gastronomic frontline having traded in the hipster era confines of Solec 44 for Zoni, the banner restaurant of the Koneser complex.
Visually stunning, it represents a complete escape from the grungy bunker from which the chef earned his name. Likewise, you get the sense that this is a cook that’s chosen to step up a level and prove to Poland that he’s really worth the hype.
Opened for a matter of days, Zoni is already the big ticket in town on account of a menu that challenges preconceptions of Polish food. Of course, others have done this, but the style in which Baron does this is cause for attention.
Starters, for example, include a tomato assiete featuring a smoked tomato as its centerpiece and a granita with lovage to add contrast to the event.
Above, a bread board with a star turn provided by a mutton terrine.
For mains, a pheasant fillet rolled in bacon and wood-smoked. Gooseberries, cherries and parsley form a partnership of note with this meat.
Ending, it’s with a gingerbread cream sprinkled with Ferrari red strawberries. That the bill comes to 150 with tip is a mockery of the sheer competence of these dishes: sure, the year is young, but if there’s been a stronger opening this year, then we’ve yet to taste it.
But can the evening get better? Sure it can. Head next door to the adjoining vodka bar to enjoy clever cocktails inside a modern environment that resounds to the soft sounds of retro PRL Poland. If this is gentrification, then we like it.
Pl. Konesera 1
(Words & Photos: AW)