I’m not sure people think of creative fine dining when they think of Poland, so it’s not surprising that Warsaw’s Senses restaurant only has one Michelin star, even if that’s a crime. My boyfriend and his family are from the area originally, so he took me there last month to see where he grew up, and naturally, I checked the Michelin guide. There are only two Michelin-starred restaurants in the whole country, and one just received its star this year, so we decided to give the new kid a try.
I emailed the restaurant for a reservation two weeks before our trip and was able to get us in at 8pm, although we admittedly were trying for a probably-not-so-popular Monday night. They offer 7- and 9-course tastings, which my boyfriend’s family all laughed at the impossibility of. They were super skeptical about their ability to eat so many courses and for so many hours, especially when his dad doesn’t even like seafood. But I basically forced them to forge ahead, and it ended up being one of the very best meals and experiences I’ve had anywhere.
In NYC, this meal would’ve been on par with Eleven Madison Park or Brooklyn Fare. It would have easily had three Michelin stars, and it would have cost $300. In Warsaw, it cost $99 and included about 20 extra treats not listed on the menu. And even value aside, the service was phenomenal. The servers spoke in English to me and then repeated everything in Polish for my boyfriend’s family, and just like at our two-Michelin-starred dinner in Vienna, everyone was hilarious. Just always anticipating what would delight us and making us laugh through every course. Having just visited Eleven Madison Park last month, I noticed a huge difference between the polite professionalism of the servers there and the way the Polish servers made us feel like we were guests in their home. Which might make sense when you remember that Chef Andrea Camastra is Italian and French.
our menu in Polish and English
We each started with a little tablet on a plate next to us that I probably would’ve popped in my mouth without hesitation had I not wanted to take a picture of it first. But then our servers came around to pour some water on it, and it blossomed into a hot towel to wipe our hands with.
Our bread service came with a pipette of apple essence to drizzle on each piece to our hearts’ content.
sea trout, sorrel, apricot, red caviar, horseradish, bergamot
pierogi ruskie, bottarga, lard, smoked cream, red prawn
pork cheek, goulash, calamari, yuzu
hamachi, black caviar, cucumber salad, dill, lime
king crab, seasonal vegetables, pancetta, olive
kobe ribs, oyster, blood orange, Polish korma, spring onion
The Polish korma. Like Indian korma, but made with Polish ingredients!
raspberry, yogurt, cherry, rose, honey
A cloud of fog poured from a vessel in the center of the table and whooshed over all of our desserts, wrapping them in a white haze.
Bielanska 12, 00-085
Warszawa, Poland (map)