There are those that claim Fest’s best months are in summer, and sure, their argument is convincing: hidden down twisting roads flanked by glinting waters and thick, tangled woodland, it’s an unexpected picture of pastoral bliss – every bit as satisfying as arriving to a rural refuge. But make no mistake, winter ain’t bad either. The trees may have shed their leaves, but there’s something magical about the approach that brings to mind an out-of-town escape: an odd sensation given the stone’s throw proximity of downtown Warsaw.
This, though, you probably know already, not least because we’ve written about Fest at considerable length before. So what’s changed? Much! First, what was once a dark-looking timber lodge has had a thorough revamp: extra windows have been bashed in to go hand-in-hand with a general restyling that’s lent a lighter, brighter edge whilst losing none of the warm intimacy that everyone loved before.
Sure, that’s all well and good, but it’s the addition of Agata Wojda that has got foodies talking. Best-known for her time at Opasły Tom, her presence has added a finesse to a place that was formerly recognized as a primordial celebration of meat and brawn.
Of course, they’ve still kept established crowd favorites like the ribs and sausages (there would be a revolution if they didn’t), only now these are settled next to other highly seasonal choices that demonstrate the depth of Wojda’s talent. A hymn to Poland’s rural resources, her cooking bridges fanciful sophistication with homely familiarity.
The goose confit on red cabbage, pea puree and deep, extravagant sauces rams this point home, but so too do her buckwheat pierogi and beetroot starter. Feeling emotive and correct, this is food that compels: honest, natural and not short on taste: if Fest was brilliant before, now it’s just got even better.
Fest Port Czerniakowski
ul. Zaruskiego 8, fest.rest