If you’re coming to Porto (see my guide around the city’s loveliest spots here), make Mistu your must-go restaurant. It’s the best restaurant I’ve been to in entire Portugal – it’s heaven. After recovering a neo-Arab building and transforming it into the Flow Restaurant & Bar, the restaurateurs’ desire to develop new experiences at the table took them to a former locksmith’s shop behind the Stock Exchange Palace. Black, white, brass, straw and green are the tones that predominate here, creating a chic, groovy atmosphere. But what’s most appealing about Mistu is that several gastronomic cultures of the orld with references of Asia and South America arrive at the table with an Portuguese accent. Chef Rui Mingatos is a magician! Try the tuna ceviche for starter, Uruguayan picanha for the main course. An ecstatic experience! Oh, and you better book a table in advance.
Rua do Comércio do Porto 161 / Porto
All photos by Edward Kanarecki.
Just a few steps from Wrocław’s Old Market, the sweetest patisserie tempts the locals. With it’s pastel-pink velvet walls and brass details, Nanan is a heaven for lovers of unconventional dessert tastes. No way you can miss it, while the town!
Kotlarska 32 / Wrocław
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I’ve suddenly discovered Ladurée out of the blue and thought it’s worth sharing. Ladurée is a Parisian landmark, a cult patisserie. There’s no need to introduce it. Everything is so sweetly aesthetical here, from the pastel-pink plates to perfume flacons. And coming here for breakfast means that your ultimate French breakfast dream comes true. During fashion week, Ladurée on rue Royale is a perfect morning spot for gossips. While eating my eggs Benedict served on a crispy brioche, I’ve overheard how a pack of PRs devastated a Dior person’s career, bitterly complaining about her ‘terrible, terrible’ incompetence. How mean. How fashion!
Ladurée / 18 Rue Royale
Considering trying these out at home.
Tea, coffee, merci.
And the real croissants.
All photos by Edward Kanarecki.
The amateurs of niche magazines are certainly familiar with the famous Holiday Magazine. In the years 1946-1977 the magazine covered the distant voyages of writers like Truman Capote. It also employed renowned photographers to present their personal perspective on the favourite holiday spots of America’s rich. After a long absence, the magazine was revived in 2014 by Atelier Franck Durand. The Parisian artistic studio gave a new meaning to the cult magazine. Focusing these days to a large extent on fashion, the magazine grew into a small capsule collection of clothes fit for travelling and… to a cafe in the quiet 16th arrondissement of Paris.
Yves Saint Laurent once said that “Fashions fade, style is eternal”. This is definitely true for Holiday Cafe, which doesn’t even try to compete with the most fashionable Parisian places. The interior is quite ordinary, but despite that, or maybe actually because of that, it has its own remarkable style. Slategray tablecloths, an intimate garden with a view on the old buildings, wooden finishings – they were all conceived by Franklin Azzi, an architect who has been working with Durand for many years.
As for the menu, Holiday Cafe focuses on simple French cuisine, adding some sharp Japanese flavours. Daniel de la Falaise, the chef and author of the menu suggests trying his personal version of croque-demoiselle, an updated version of the classic croque-madame. The menu offers quail eggs with fine herbs salad, apple mousse with blueberries and strawberry torte with whiskey from Yamazaki distillery. But there is also a portion of white asparagus served with home-made mayonnaise, the well-known foie gras and a selection of fromages from the French craftsmen. Holiday Cafe accurately describes itself as “an eclectic assemblage of necessary luxuries: simple dishes of the highest quality”. (Note: I wrote this post for Usta Magazyn in Polish. Initial version is here.)
Avenue de Versailles 192 / Paris
Zorza Bistro is a perfect example of today’s casual dining place, which attracts you with every detail – and if you don’t go inside right away, you feel really, really guilty. Social media is a dominating factor in today’s gastronomy. The first time I saw this place on Instagram (@zorzabistro), filled with stylish photos of bruschettas and cold soups, I knew I’m writing it down in my Warsaw agenda – and as I love well-executed branding matters, like typography, this was indeed a heaven for me. Visual identity of Zorza was developed by Kaja Gadomska, graphic designer, who decided to create something that would match the classical, yet very contemporary aesthetic of the restaurant. Just like her bold logo design, the interior is kept in a softly art deco manner, with brass tables, marble columns and preserved, stone floors. The cuisine at Zorza is diverse, spanning from roasted artichokes and hot dogs with home-made sausage to meat-stuffed cabbage and coated chicken in Asian sauce. If you’re still unsure whether you need to go to Zorza, then there’s one more, great feaure of this place – you can sit outside, and have a view on Warsaw’s brilliant street style.
Żurawia 6 / Warsaw
While Paris was all about haute couture, I spent my last week in Warsaw, discovering the city’s most outstanding spots together with my friends. As you might already know (and if you’ve read this one), I’m obsessed with Lukullus, a patisserie which was founded in 1946. The family business survived hard, socialist and early capitalist eras which severely affected Poland and after many years of renovations and rebranding, the brand expanded and opened a number of spots – and the one on Chmielna is Lukullus’ freshest addition. I can honestly say it’s my favourite one. Designed by Jan Strumiłło, acknowledged Polish architect, it fluently fuses the historic past with Warsaw’s modernity. Inspired with the neighbouring cinema Atlantic, Jan aimed to reference the old-school glamour with curvy neon on the entrance. Eclectic tiles match the bold, printed cushions, and a variety of flea-market finds from the 60s work perfectly with elegant, marble coffee-tables. But that’s not it – the ‘eating’ space makes you gasp with its beautifully preserved wooden mural, depicting a rural scene. Of course, describing a Lukullus patisserie can’t be done without mentioning the sweet part. Just like in all other locations, Chmielna offers the house’s classics – donuts filled with home-made jam, vanilla croissants, limoncello meringue or exotic mango cake. And many, many more delights… I need to stop, because I’m already drooling over the memory of those tastes!
Chmielna 32 / Warsaw
Osteria di Passignano is locate in a small town of Badi a Passignano, that is about half hour from Florence. It’s speciality is the big selection of wines from whole Italy and only from natural wineries! The interior is very simple, and the food… Well, the food… DELICIOUS! This is like one of the best restaurants in Italy! The food is typical Tuscan, but with a modern touch. The meat is delicate, and the pasta is all hand made. This place will not only give you a amazing culinary experience, but also beautiful memories of Dolce Vita vibes!
Living in Villa Manganice is like visiting a paradise. Everything here is perfect and beautiful. So, no wonder, the restaurant Manganice has a unforgettable taste with it’s traditional Tuscan dishes! Of course accompanied with the wine from hotel winery, the beef tatar and the filet Mignon with truffle fondue tastes very delicate and smooth. Everything is very fresh and totally hand-made! So no pasta from a shop or olive oil with chemical toxins. The dessert is of course the classical chocolate sufflet… Nothing better in the world!
Brasserie Warszawska is currently the most fashionable restaurant in Warsaw. It’s known for best quality, but simple food using best quality Polish ingredients and foreign goods like Dutch oysters or truffles. The interior is simple, while there’s a beautiful, old bar made of zinc. 60’s lamps ooze with Polish cinema old glamour. If talking of the food, it’s… awesome. Just perfect. The essential to try out? For sure take the signature plate of fried oysters for a try! When I initially put them into my mouth, they were so crunchy and delicate in taste. Meanwhile, others tried a beef tartar, and they loved it, too.
Górnośląska 24 / Warsaw