With the long weekend looming I imagine a few people on here are going to be taking the opportunity to head to the seaside. Have a blast. Personally though, perhaps the best lesson I’ve learned is you no longer need to do so to find fab seafood. Opened in the last month or so, Seafood Bistro isn’t a big secret. Since launching they’ve won a string of positive reviews, not least from Gazeta’s kingmaker Maciej Nowak, and the ever excellent Froblog. And while it’s natural that this opinion game is fraught with inconsistencies and differences, when it comes to Seafood Bistro I’m happy to confirm the rumors – it’s very special indeed.
The Place: a tiny captain’s cabin style space with a blue and white color palate, life rings and steel lanterns and lights hanging over head. By going for the fisherman’s style they’ve created a casual look that works well with the space. You feel like you’re on holiday just being there.
The Staff: it’s always nice to be treated to a lusty buongiorno on entering a venue, and in Seaside Bistro that comes from Mario, the cheerful chef. And he’s backed up by a waitress whose happy to chat and answer your questions while fending off advances from local passing playboys (“Kasia,” pines one Romeo, “I love you!”). Of course, it’s equally nice when the Italian owner (at least, I presume it was the Italian owner) calls out at the end to check if everything went well. It all adds to that atmosphere of informal bonhomie.
The People: on our visit lots of older men with slicked back hair, Italian shirts and big chunky watches. It’s as if the crowd from Flaming & Co. has been relocated en masse. You might like that, you might not.
The Menu: is chalked up on the blackboard – either brush up on your Italian maritime phrases, or be ready to ask questions. If there are starters, then I’m none the wiser – what you have, it appears, is one list of seafood – it’s simple in concept with no faffing around. Sadly there’s no calamari on our visit (“The delivery wasn’t good enough,” says the waitress, “so we rejected it”), so instead we go for a mixed mussel plate and the shrimps.
The Food: we’re told the seafood is delivered fresh each day… from Italy. And oh my, it’s good. The mussels are pure porn and served in a white wine sauce that’s both salty and spicy. It’s invigorating. As for the prawns, of these there are five, and they’re tasty buggers and all. Measured on a scale of one to ten, I’d rate them a notch above ten.
The Prices: mains came to about fifty each – a fair price for this quality. What I don’t like is being charged zł. 12 for bread. Yes, it is good, but I buy bread in a bakery, not in a restaurant. In a restaurant I expect it to be complimentary, if it’s not you feel a bit nickeled and dimed. So too being charged another zł. 12 for a modest side salad.
Overall: my cheapskate quibbles aside, this is undeniably the best seafood I’ve had in Poland. With the addition of Seaside Bistro, Warsaw is really very lucky.
(Words & Photos: AW)
Seaside Bistro ul. Wilcza 26, facebook