I can’t recall when I enjoyed a dinner like I did during my last evening in Kraków, at Nota_Resto by Tomasz Leśniak. It ticked all my boxes … and it didn’t leave my bank account stirring empty back to me the next morning.
As it stands just now … it has gone to the top of my “Top 10” dining experiences.
Tomasz Leśniak has been the chef for the Polish national football team for 11 years, born in 1981. And no wonder the Polish football team has been doing so well … when having a chef like Tomasz feeding them. He has now released a cookery book where all the players in the Polish National team have picked their favorite dish and with a presentation of the player together with the recipe for that special dish … it has become a beautiful and very fun cookery book. On released on Polish so far. “White and red on the plate” is the title.
Nota Resto stands for singular dining in a casual environment with a friendly and superb service. If you every visit Kraków this is a MUST!
The portions are normal … and no playing around with the ingredients and trying to be too smart for its own good. Lovely colors and very nice presentation. You can understand everything that is put in front of you. All the flavors are so well composed and not one flavor that doesn’t integrate. No flavors are taking over from the others and perfect seasoning.
I think I found out about this place through – In Your Pocket – the best travel guide, that I always turn to.
It’s hidden away on one of the back streets from the Main Square in the Old Town, more or less beside Amadeus Hotel.
Nota_Resto by Tomasz Leśniak
Świętego Krzyża 17,
Phone: +48 517 818 851
When I tried to book a table over their website there was nothing there … just more or less a blank page, but now they have got the website up and running … both for the restaurant and their bistro Benne next. door. So I got in contact with them over their Facebook page. The website is looking good, but I still think some of the images of their dishes aren’t looking right … too overexposed. Sorry!!!!
The dishes look a lot better when they are presented to you and they taste heavenly. But their website now shows what they have on the menu … and also the prices, so you can get a picture of what they have to offer.
What I also like about this restaurant is that has the light on so I could see what I was eating …. I’m not much for candlelight diners when I have to pay for it myself. I want to see what I’m getting and I want to understand what is on the plate.
The table setting is simple and casual … and a real napkin, I love a linen napkin and it also put a plus stamp on the restaurant in my book. The menu was very elegant covered, but funny and very personal on the inside with Tomasz drawing of some of the dishes showing how the plates should be presented. Lovely idea.
For my pre-dinner drink, I went for Vodka & tonic every evening during my visit – just a safe card … nobody can mess it up because I pore the tonic myself. Also isn’t a drink that affects the taste buds.
Satellite Sauvignon Blanc, Spy Valley Marlborough (New Zealand) was my choice of wine for the diner. Excellent choice. I will buy a bottle for New Year … at our government run liquor shop; Systembolaget. They say in their presentation of the wine – A large, aromatic, youthful scent with elements of passion fruit, pear, nettles, kiwi, and lime. If there is one thing they are good at… is it their wines. They are sitting on enormous knowledge.
Before my starter arrived I was presented with a paper bag with 2 different kinds of bread … love the idea.
I started with their “Tuna tartare in lime juice & Limoncello, fresh cucumber, cauliflower, Guacamole & coriander”. I have eaten many tuna tartare through the years … but nothing so good as this. And when that plate was put in front of me it was like Springtime had arrived at my table. I think the image talks for itself.
There is quite a lot of flavors added to the dish, but not one … was too dominant. Especially can coriander take over a dish, but everything was in perfect harmony. I wouldn’t have a problem with ordering another plate. First I thought that the white cream on the plate was horseradish cream, but it was cauliflower. This was heaven on a plate.
“Braised young veal loin, risotto, beetroot & Cognac sauce” I had for the main course and I became thrilled with my loin came on the bone. Great presentations … because any loin of meat isn’t that easy to give a nice presentation in a simple way. And I love my bones. The risotto was flavored with saffron and once again that is something that so easily takes over a dish, and a quite a lot of chefs does over seasoning their creations with saffron.
Another plate of perfect harmony between meat (cooked to perfection – slightly pink), vegetables and sauce. Cognac is also a thing I can really live without and I was a bit reluctant when I order the dish, but it as a very smooth sauce … with just a hint of Cognac.
I’m a “pudding girl” – and I’m also a Pavlova girl … a dessert that is not often found on menus today … and maybe that is a good thing because most of the ones I had have been all messed up. I like the presentation in the menu … My meringue Pavlova with marinated plume & toffee. I wish I could make a great Pavlova myself, but … after a couple of attempts I have given up on that mission.
I couldn’t choose a better finale for my 5 days of dining in Kraków then is dessert!!! And I honestly don’t think any restaurant will be able to top this one. If it happens I will let you know.
The restaurant also has a wine tasting room – and are aiming to be able to have 100 wines in their cellar.
Nota_Resto has only been up and running for about 8 months … but it must be one of the best-hidden secrets in Kraków, because nobody I talked with about my dinner adventure, knew anything about this outstanding place. As I told the restaurant manager, Pawel, start screaming about how good you’re. Let the world know!!!
It’s not easy to take place on the gastronomical map in Kraków, because there are so many restaurants … some better than others, and also visitors choose restaurant close the main attractions, but just walk 8 min future on Mikołajska street from the Main Square until you come to Hotel Amadeus and the next block up to the left you will find this little gem.
The total damage for my adventure came to 197PLN/434SEK/44€/$51/£31 – and was with a nice cappuccino, but not the tip. And I got a nice vodka shot – one for the road, FREE!
“In football, the worst blindness is only seeing the ball.”
Nelson Falcão Rodrigues