12 October 2015
After a wonderful weekend in Prague with some much-missed friends I was back in Warsaw. Sadly the short trip was full of unpleasant surprises, most notably at Okęcie… Nevertheless I got back as it turned to late spring, with temperatures near freezing. Loving it. I was the only person walking around without a coat. I missed this! Hasn’t been this cold since Melbourne a few months ago!
My last meal in Europe on this trip I planned to go to one of the best steak restaurants in Central Europe — Butchery & Wine. You wouldn’t believe it, but it is indeed one of the very best — probably in all of Europe. Usually steakhouses in Central-East Europe are pretty bad — such as the horrific Prime Steak & Wine in Budapest — but this place is pretty awesome.
I got there early without a booking, and they need the table back by 8pm — no prob, that’s more than 2 hours away. I ordered and enjoyed some wine. The only issue was the rather stiff staff…sigh… I tolerated it because the food is so good… I was going to order the duck heart for a starter, but I went for this instead, and my decision was spot on…
Mangalica pork belly — ’nuff said. This was beyond a joy to enjoy… Beautifully cooked, the meat (and fat) are so rich with flavour it almost brought tears to my eyes. Now why don’t they do this better in Hungary, where the bloody things are from?! Awesome starter!
I had a bit more wine before my main arrived, a grass-fed piece of aged Polish beef — a special item on the menu…
Wow, and this was indeed special. The aging was perfect, just adding enough to not get to the “funk” level. It really was very complex, alongside an excellent quality grass-fed ribeye. One of the best steaks of the year definitely, loving the aging. I hate it when so many “top” steak places have “aged” beef using bland corn-fed stuff to start. Grass-fed is where it’s at. I always take the grass-fed option if it’s there, and always local cows. The beef in Poland, as it is in Estonia, is just beginning to get really fantastic.
I had a dessert of a forest berries cheesecake and chilled out with a double espresso as I headed back to my airport hotel by train. Back across the Atlantic tomorrow. This has been a wonderful trip, despite some food issues in Paris. But overall it has been terrific, and I can’t wait until my next time back across the Atlantic at the end of the year…
Butchery & Wine