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The Warsaw Voice » Other » June 3, 2009
On the town
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Via Padre K這potowski
June 3, 2009   
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La Strada is one of the most inconspicuous eateries in Warsaw and, as you walk down K這potowskiego Street, you may easily miss it because there are no signs in sight to suggest that you are passing by a restaurant. But when you take a look inside this charming Stara Praga neighborhood establishment, designed to look like as if it has been transplanted from a Venetian street, you feel tempted to stop by.

Those who consider Italian cuisine a cornerstone of the culinary world may want to pay a visit. To begin with, the interior with murals creates the ambiance of an Italian passageway. Ewa Marsza貫k, one of the managers at La Strada, found inspiration for the design on a trip to Venice. When she returned to Warsaw, she asked students of the Fine Arts Academy to help her design the La Strada interiors, adorned with drawings and photographs. To some, the decor is a pleasant and sophisticated addition to the menu, but others may find it annoying, kitschy and overloaded with pseudo-Italian detail.

La Strada has a stylish patio and it is a good idea to take a seat outside, as the neighborhood is pleasant.

The supposedly typical Italian menu features 60 dishes and while the La Strada chefs do quite a satisfactory job on the cold appetizers, the pastas, most of them homemade, will not entirely let you forget that you are in Poland, where "good" often means "a lot" as far as food is concerned. Then there's the syndrome of the dear old Polish granny who invariably overcooks any kind of pasta. And La Strada has not escaped this tendency unscathed.

Mediterranean cuisine would be incomplete without seafood and so the chef tries pleasing patrons with shrimp and fish dishes, including filetti di sogliola ripeni di funghi (sole with boletus mushrooms and crabs) for zl.48. As for meats, the chef recommends rosetta di manzo con rucola e aceto balsamico (beef tenderloin with balsamic vinegar), at zl.43. But this dish is a far cry from what most Italian meats taste like.

For dessert, the famous Italian ice cream is a must and at La Strada you can, for example, get gelato al forno, or flaming ice cream, for zl.21. Alas, Italian ice cream Polish style is no match for the masterly aroma and essential flavor of freshly made ice cream served in Italy. Setting it on fire does not really help.

Feliks Misiak

La Strada, 23/25 Ks. I. K這potowskiego St., open daily noon-11 p.m., Sun. noon-10 p.m., www.lastrada.com
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