Friday, April 8, 2011

warsaw: u kucharzy

U Kucharzy, or the Kitchen, is just that, a restaurant set up inside the kitchen of the old Hotel Europjski in downtown Warsaw. One of the Gessler family venues, this bustling eatery is an homage to the frenetic energy and hard work that goes on behind the scenes in any restaurant kitchen. Here the cooks are the stars...
The kitchen is open, in fact, the "best" seat in the house is a small two-seater situated almost inside one of the ovens. Tables are arranged to provide guests with views of the chefs at work and one the best dishes, the steak tartare, is prepared tableside by a chef, a skilled swordsman, really, in a flurry of steel blades expertly mincing the top-quality beef as you watch, enthralled and a bit nervous (what if he loses his grip on one of those 12" knives he's flinging around?). While the tartare provides quite a show, my favorite part of the meal was the relaxed, friendly atmosphere created by the staff (almost like you were sitting in for a staff meal at a restaurant), in particular the maitre'd, who invited us into the kitchen to have taste of a dish before we were considering ordering. It was heaven and really nice to have a chance to try it before committing to the whole dish.

we started with borscht

our chef starting the steak tartare
it was a lot of work!
the finished product

tender, melt-in-your-mouth veal with a heavenly wild mushroom cream sauce
Oh! u Kucharzy is supposed to be opening an outpost in TriBeCa soon...  Check it out, New Yorkers.

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