Joining the battle for the title of Warsaw’s top outdoor space, a Saska jewel reopens under the banner of Nicoletta…
Something of a modernist pearl, Nicoletta occupies the Łepkowskich Villa, a building completed in 1935 according to a swish design coined by Lucjan Korngold and Piotr Maria Lubiński. Commissioning it was Józef Łepkowski, a car dealer specializing in the import of American automobiles such as the Chevrolet.
Commandeered by Polish forces during the Siege of Warsaw, it was at the forefront of Saska Kępa’s defensive actions in 1939. In the post-war years, it became a bulwark of French diplomatic activity and served as the ambassador’s home from 1946 until 2005. More recently, it was reabsorbed into the district’s social life under the guise of Biała, a cocktail-coffee concept by Grupa Warszawa. Later, it fell under the ownership of Flaming & Co., a food and drink bastion channeling Long Island’s Hilfiger spirit.
To The Present
The closure of Flaming Bistro came as a surprise to all, but no sooner had they vacated the property the new tenants were in. Given the swiftness of the handover, not much has changed either inside or out – and that’s definitely a good thing. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
With its perfect white colors, the glass-fronted oblong form of the Łepkowskich Villa has an elegant sophistication to it that’s delicious on the eye. But it becomes even more so out the back.
It’s here you’ll find a garden that’s in-filled with well-spaced wooden decks hiding amid the vegetation and plant life. A garden in the truest sense of the word, the best view is from the balcony on top. Set aside for smokers, and accessed via a glorious spiral staircase, it’s from here you gaze down on the people gathered below as you consider all the good things about life. But there’s more. Launching imminently (so we’re told), is a top deck bar on the rooftop – should that be delivered, then it promises to be quite a spot for sunset drinks.
And yes, speaking of drinks, they’re fantastic. Cocktails here include a range of summer spritzers such as the Fragolino, a refreshing combo of Prosecco, soda, strawberry cordial and strawberry infused vodka. They do the classics well and we can happily vouch for the pineapple daquiri, but it’s the author’s cocktails that take it another level. Recommended is the Scarlatto, a fine concoction of vanilla rum, cherry, lemon and Campari. It’s light, fun and ideal for a starry night.
The food is by no means second fiddle to the drink. Touting a succinct Italian menu, options include pizza plus a choice of more sophisticated tastes – for example, a flavour-packed gazpacho providing a welcome Spanish interlude, and veal served in a slick of rich anchovy sauce. Actually, whoever is in charge of sauces needs a serious pay raise: also earning big marks is the gamberi a mascarpone – shrimps and mascarpone dumplings in a tomato sauce of very real merit.