Food gems

Restaurante La Polonesa: nostalgic Polish food in an olde worlde setting

3 August 2017
La Polonesa

Austere expressionist paintings, an antique mahogany piano, dark red walls and white doily tablecloths. Restaurante La Polonesa’s old-world style is like a time traveller’s collection, and the nostalgic food fits in perfectly.

GRANNY CHIC

First, you’ll spot the garden furniture on the outdoor porch, then walk inside, pass the no-frills, marble-top tables, and you’ll reach the long, granite bar opposite the Polish food store where you can buy anything from Polish cheese and sausages to pickles and herbs!

The Polish food store (photo: Google maps)

The Polish food store (photo: Google)

Then just beyond the shop, down a couple of stairs, step forthwith into a world where your grandmother’s all-frills living room is on the front cover of Architectural Digest.

La Polonesa's salon

La Polonesa’s olde worlde salon

A hand-stitched mural of Krakow's old town

A hand-stitched mural of Krakow’s old town

THE NOSTALGIC FOOD

There’s so much to choose from and, because many traditional Polish dishes don’t include meat, there’s plenty for the vegetarians among us. Here’s the menu, which is in both Spanish and Polish.

The star of the show is always pierogi which are boiled empanadas stuffed with a variety of options (cheese and potato/meat/cabbage and mushrooms), all garnished with salty caramelised onions.

Cheese and potato pierogi

Cheese and potato pierogi

The two circular slabs of grilled smoked cheese, which really must be eaten piping hot, are outrageously good. They also come with cranberry confiture to compliment the smoky flavour.

Fried smoked Polish cheese with cranberries

Fried smoked Polish cheese with cranberries

The beetroot soup uses flavours we’re all familiar with, but the balance is different. Barszcz, which comes with a few raviolis bopping around at the bottom, is deliciously peculiar, reminiscent of pomegranate molasses.

Beetroot soup with oregano

Beetroot soup with oregano

Among Polish cuisine’s hugely eclectic catalogue of ingredients, beetroot features heavily, with this salad comprising blended beetroot, laced with fiery horse radish.

Beetroot salad

Beetroot salad

There’s also a delicious sausage (Kiełbasa) on the menu which has a smoky flavour and bouncy texture you may be familiar with in German cuisine. It comes with pickles, boiled vegetables, horseradish and mustard, and a touch of fresh dill.

And don’t forget to try the super strong 7% Polish beer, Dębowe Dojrzałe Mocne.

Dębowe (oak) Polish beer

Dębowe (oak) Polish beer

FOOD THE LOCAL POLISH COMMUNITY LOVE

La Polonesa

La Polonesa

Restaurante La Polonesa is a hub for the local Polish community and is as authentic as it gets in Madrid – the food hasn’t been adapted to Spanish tastes whatsoever. The fresh ingredients are locally sourced, of course, but you also have the opportunity to buy imported Polish products in the small store so that you can cook some of these amazing hearty dishes at home.

INFO

  • Restaurante La Polonesa’s website
  • Address: Calle de Narciso Serra, 3
  • Nearest metro: Menéndez Pelayo
  • Opening hours: Mon-Sat 1-11 pm / Sun 1-9 pm (closed for August)

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