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The Warsaw Voice » Society » September 29, 2014
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Gourmet Zone
September 29, 2014   
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A new, elegant restaurant with a bar has opened in downtown Warsaw, helping historic Próżna Street regain some of its former splendor.

The new restaurant, Strefa (The Zone), is housed in a 19th-century Renaissance revival townhouse at 9 Próżna St., recently renovated and converted into an exclusive office building called Le Palais Office. The new building, which borders Grzybowski Square, is one of several projects that aim to help restore this remarkable neighborhood to its the prewar glory. Buildings on one side of Próżna Street survived World War II relatively intact, but for decades afterwards the street was left unrenovated and the buildings gradually fell into disrepair. It was not until several years ago that renovation work began. Le Palais Office and the adjacent, remodeled townhouse at 7 Próżna St. are the first visible signs of the effort.

The Strefa restaurant at the Le Palais Office specializes in fish and seafood while also offering a fine selection of Italian dishes with a touch of Polish cuisine. Jarosław Walczyk, the chef, ranks among Poland’s top culinary virtuosos and before Strefa he spent 15 years working as executive chef with Stena Line, one of the world’s largest ferry operators.

Fish dishes served at Strefa include tuna steak with millet groats, truffle relish, sous-vide cooked green asparagus and orange caviar. For the carnivorous palate, the restaurant has beef sirloin steak and steak tartare made from maturing beef, but this last dish is also available in a salmon and shrimp version. If you feel like having something on the light side, you can try a variety of salads prepared fresh, including freesia with green onions, grenadine, roasted pumpkin seeds and dressing. Before you move on from one big dish to the next, make sure to try one of the restaurant’s signature sorbets. If you want to wash your food down with alcohol, Strefa has a lot to choose from.

All the sophisticated dishes at Strefa are served by highly competent waiters. The food is delicious, the interior is classy, but the prices may leave you with a bittersweet aftertaste. A starter costs between zl.41-72 and the main courses range from zl.39 to zl.108.
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