For me there’s nothing that says summer in Poland quite like weekends in Mazury. Not the tourist epicenters, but the eco-stay farmsteads and castle hotels. Reaching them alone is a joy in itself: down twisting forest roads and past glistening lakes. Pit stops and detours to little, lakeside fish cabins are all part of the trip. Right there, in these rickety sheds, you’ll find the true taste of summer.
Hard as it is to recreate that feeling in landlocked, foggy Warsaw, U Rysia somehow manage. The simplicity of the design helps: devoid of frills bar a glowing neon sign and a brooding mural of Jesus, it looks like a Polish fish restaurant should – basic but with an undercurrent of bustle that keeps the mood bright. It tastes like the real thing as well. Sourcing their catch from the freshwater lakes of northern Poland, the offer is divided into fish that have been smoked, steamed, fried or baked. Perch chips fried in batter please with each satisfying crunch; zander, its skin nicely crisp, is virgin white and baked with precision; whilst trout tartar is a victoriously fresh take on a Mazurian classic. As cold rain drums down outside, sodden Marszalkowska is pockmarked with puddles; but inside U Rysia, the sensation is of revisiting the summer – how good is that?
ul. Marszałkowska 140 (enter from ul. Rysia), urysia.com.pl