Nolita restaurant

The last time I was in Poland I had a fantastic experience with the restaurant Metamorfoza which is in Gdansk. So I was looking forward to another unique experience in Warsaw. Which I hoped for with my visit at Nolita. As it turned out, hope is always a good thing. I had some great food at Nolita.

The meal started with an amuse gueule of corn cream with pumpkin seeds and an arancini with goat cheese. The corn cream had the consistency of a velutée with a hint of spice in the back. Not sure about the four (in numbers 4) pumpkin seeds inside. The arancini ball (risotto ball) had a great hot cheese flavor but was otherwise rather unremarkable.

corn cream and goat cheese arancini @Nolita

The bread basket or rather plate came with two kinds of homemade bread and two kinds of butter. The left one regular with salt and the right one burnt butter with garlic and thyme. The regular butter was a bit too soft for me. I rather like it when you can slather it on thickly and it has a coolness to it. The burnt butter funnily enough had the perfect consistency and tasted remarkable! That’s the first time I had something like this and it was wonderful! Really a great surprise! The rye bread (or five corn or something) was sublime.

bread and butter @Nolita

My first starter was a tuna tartar wrapped in kohlrabi with homemade mayonnaise and an oriental dressing of yuzu and coriander. The tuna tartare had the same spice level as the soup, maybe a bit more. I only felt it with the last bite. But then it started to bite! The thing you taste first is a citrusy freshness. It’s also cold on the tongue, maybe because it was presented on some ice shards. Anyway the yuzu on top was great while the oriental dressing gave it depth.

tuna tartare @Nolita

Next up was fois gras with a carrot cake which was made with almonds. The cake was, contrary to expectations, actually salty which was great in combination with the fois gras. Personally I thought it looked prettier than it tasted. It was a bit bland and the dark pink port wine jelly with blood orange covering it didn’t do much taste wise. The carrot cake was unfortunately also too small for the liver, so I had to eat the rest with the brioche from the breadbasket. It was fine but made the dish even blander.

fois gras and carrot cake @Nolita

Then I got the first main course which was sea bass with a fried zucchini flower on top (therefore you can’t see anything) as well a steamed and stuffed flower. The sea bass was juicy and tasty. The skin was just lacking a tad longer in the pan to be really cross. The fried flower was good but that’s not something I am a fan about. Especially without a filling. It wasn’t greasy though. So points for that.

The sauce in the middle was great. Made of herbs and the dots were habanero and jalapeño. Nice touch and so much flavor! The steamed and stuffed zucchini flower was filled with pork and reminded me of dim sum. Not bad but not really working with this dish. The presentation was top though and the sauce excellent.

sea bass with zucchini flowers @Nolita

For the next course I got a special Japanese knife. It was black Angus beef tenderloin with some sauce on top and watercress, also brisket with homemade wasabi rice crispy, rice tempura with seaweed, pickled cucumbers and a sauce from rhubarb. The tenderloin was perfectly seared, really on point. It wouldn’t have needed the sauce which was a bit too sweet and cloying for the beef. The rhubarb thing would have been enough. The brisket just isn’t my thing. I tried it now a couple of times and the taste was always too intense, and this one was not different. The rice tempura was a nice try, but in the end a rice cube with seaweed on top. The pickled cucumbers were lovely. Great size, great taste. The presentation was top, a bit more light would enhance the experience of the the diner though.

beef tenderloin, brisket and rice tempura @Nolita

Another amuse bouche from the kitchen. This time a slice of French cheese with polish honey. The plate with funny spots looked weird with the pattern of the honey. The cheese was some kind of double creme, it was rich as butter. Not at all the palate cleanser I would have expected and liked. Didn’t finish it, this was just too rich for me.

cheese course with honey @Nolita

Dessert was variations of strawberries. From the top, strawberry cheesecake (too jelly like), sorbet (very tasty), something (weird), and a strawberry chocolate ball with strawberry liquid inside (very good) and in the middle strawberry mousse. At the bottom vanilla cream. This was more miss than hit. The dessert definitely didn’t convince me, but this is often the weakest course in great restaurants.

dessert variations of strawberry @Nolita

With coffee came the chocolate. Another ball of white chocolate filled with strawberry liquid. Rather a big one and I got instructions to eat it all in one. Which was wise, otherwise the liquid would have landed on me. The ball could have been a bit smaller for easier eating though. The sunflower seeds with chocolate were fine, just not so much to my taste. And the truffle with raspberry inside was great. I wouldn’t have needed for it to be dipped in chocolate though. Just rolling it in powder would have worked for me. The bed of dried chocolate cake (or whatever that was) looked great and was therefore edible. Unfortunately it just had a burnt taste for me. The coffee I had with it was very tasty. Really great beans they are using here.

chocolate with coffee @Nolita

I accompanied my dinner with a glass of rose champagne from Billecart-Salmon and then moved on to white wine from Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner Steinsetz. Both drinks were excellent!

Unfortunately is a problem with the AC, which is only installed next to the windows where I was seated. I asked shortly after arriving for the AC the be lowered which they did only to be turned up again during the cheese course. There is really no way to sit there, even with a jacket on. I was afraid to get a stiff neck by sitting here with the blast going. The problem was though that for people at the other end it was getting too hot. So they actually had to use it. Maybe they need to rethink the AC position!

Also the dining room is rather small and with 46 available spaces it’s filled to the max. This makes the restaurant rather loud. So if you want to have a cozy dinner á deux, I am not sure it’s the right place. The meal overall had some pleasant surprises as well as some not so pleasant. In the end though it was a memorable dinner. Yours, Pollybert

Nolita Restaurant
00-679 Warszawa, Wilcza 46
Tel: +48 22 292 04 24
Email: rezerwacja@nolita.pl
Mon-Fri: 12:00-15:00, 18:00-22:00, Sat: 17:00-22:30
http://www.nolita.pl/home/en

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