Nailing the August vibe to a tee, the Emerald Summer Garden & Lounge is the outdoor experience everyone needs to know…
Although plans are afoot to introduce an indoor dining area in the coming weeks, as things stand the Emerald Summer Garden is exactly just that: an elegant outdoor terrace set in the shade of upmarket Foksal street.
Festooned with plants and trimmings supplied by Moet, there’s nothing too over-the-top here, just that underlying feeling of quiet luxury: something underscored by the grand, century-old tenement building that looms overhead.
The epitome of light summer tastes, the seasonal menu is a creative celebration of all that’s good with the world. Such is the quality, it should be compulsory to start with the Kashubian cheeses before moving on to starters such as the tiger prawns served with raspberry powder, mango, chorizo, shallots, fresh mint and a complex butter-wine sauce.
Every bit as exquisite, is the Instagrammable roasted unagi eel salad with blood orange and white grapefruit. You eat it with your eyes first, before losing yourself in a big bang of freshness.
Such mastery continues with the mains: for instance, in the form of a filet mignon served with a rich demi-glace and fire-roasted potatoes – fine steaks are easily found nowadays in Warsaw but have no doubt that the cows cooked in Emerald are up there with the best. For the best-seller, however, look no further than the potato dumplings served in a muddle of greens, truffle and parmigiano Reggiano.
Finally, dessert, and prepare yourself for a joy of homemade walnut ice cream and mango sorbet – like everything else, it is a paean to a kitchen whose competence and confidence is reflected by food filled with bright, bold tastes. The menu is a talented tribute not just to the Polish countryside ingredients but also heavily sprinkled with references and inspirations from the Balkans and Asia – it tries to do a lot, and succeeds.
Cocktails are also a strong suit and are every bit as precisely crafted as the food. Feeling pleasingly floral and fragrant for the summer, the must-try is the Emerald City, a finely tuned mix of Bombay gin, St. Germain, elderflower syrup, lime juice, egg white and thyme. Presented as a signature of the house, it’s a sophisticated summer sip just primed for the weather.
The same, though, can be said of the Belvedere Rose Sour, a feminine-looking drink fixed from Belvedere, rose water, rose syrup, lime juice, egg white, and hibiscus. In the blazing heat of summer, there can’t be many better thirst quenchers.
Need To Know
At Emerald the good news just keeps on coming – serving food until 1 a.m. on weekends, the long hours negate the need for your sub-standard, post-pub kebab. Given its status as a major European capital, Warsaw’s late night food scene can be crushingly disappointing, so the opening of Emerald is something of a game-changer.
The price tags are a surprise and compare well against the city centre – cocktails average out at PLN 40, a snip when marked against the city’s A-Class drinking dens. As for food, factor in around PLN 39 for starters and PLN 29 for dessert. Mains can be had from PLN 49 with prices peaking at PLN 129 for the filet mignon.