Any show reel featuring the highlights of Warsaw over the last couple of years would undoubtedly find space for the revival of ul. Próżna. Once a derelict, sickly-looking street, its transformation has been swift and dramatic, with much of the credit falling on the bistros and brasseries that have reinvigorated the area. Kieliszki na Próżnej (Glasses on Próżna) have been integral to that success.
The Design: looks beautiful. The name comes from the 1,116 wineglasses that hang tantalizingly over the bar, while other elements of note include a long stretch of wall art doodled by Mariusz Tarkawian. It’s a place in which to seek solace from the soggy Autumn weather.
The Food: the menu is short and straightforward. We begin with pickled vegetables, a dish so low on aesthetics it doesn’t warrant a picture. But boy, it tastes good – chunks of crunchy root vegetables in a wonderful pickle. For mains, the duck breast comes with caramelized chicory, hazelnuts and cherry sauce, and is a successful interpretation of a culinary classic.
Dessert is a choice of two: we opt for plums, almond cake, zabaglione with Żubrowka and hazelnut ice cream. Soon, it morphs into a delicious goo that feels the right reply to the weather outside.
The Wine: gets star billing with the sommelier sourcing the choice from leading small- and medium-sized producers. The list is European-minded with the focus on Italy, and all wines are also available by the glass.
The Service: lets the place down a little on our visit. After a decent start, the waiter’s interest evaportates as the evening progresses – asked for the bill, he presents the check without a word and his eyes eagerly trained on the blonde that’s just entered. We are no longer important and are made to feel it. Fine: no tip then.
The Prices: starters average out at about zł. 30 while mains range from zł. 42 to zł. 89. That duck we told you about, that’s zł. 69. Dessert is zł. 20.
The Big News: not content with bossing Prożńa, the same team are opening another branch on Hoża in the imminent future.
Overall: barely a year old and Kieliszki have become the epitome of upscale casual dining. Visiting, you understand why. A solid marriage of good food and great wine, this is a venue that gets so much so right.
Kieliszki na Próżnej
ul. Próżna 12, kieliszkinaproznej.pl
(Interior Photos: facebook | Food Photos: Insider)