Sopot is a resort town, something I generally dislike for being crowded, overpriced, boring, and loud. But Sopot turns out to be my favorite resort town, at least partially because of its excellent food.
- U Kucharzy: This was the first place we ventured for dinner, and while it was on the expensive side for Poland, it made me think that this was a foodie town. As the link says, the name means (loosely) ‘with the chefs,’ and it’s geared that way. Instead of having completed plates brought to you, they bring the pans and pots to your table, and you watch them scoop the food onto each plate. Not only does it make you appreciate the servers’ skills more, but it builds anticipation in a big way. By the last scoop of my beef stroganoff, I was ready to grab the pan from her hands, so I could lick it clean. (Is it uncouth to admit that? Oh well.) I order stroganoff pretty much whenever possible, and this one was likely the best I’ve ever had. (Though I very purposely did not ask how much butter or cream was in there.) Speaking of cream, B ordered chicken in French cream sauce. The ‘appetizer of the day,’ which we did not order, was a beef tartare prepared tableside; we got to watch a young chef dice with showmanship as he prepared it for our neighbors. Recommended!
- Monte Vino: We grabbed lunch here: I got a well-executed goat cheese salad, and B had the melon/prosciutto and salmon/eggplant cake appetizers. The breeze was nice, the conversation was nice, and there was hardly anyone there at our strange eating time.
- Morska: We wandered over to this place to get off the main square, and I’m glad we did. I somehow managed to speak to our waitress in only Polish until the very end, when B suggests she wanted to know if we wanted more wine. I couldn’t fathom consuming anything else, so my confusion was warranted, I tell myself. I had ordered the seafood risotto, which came with a bowl of hot water with lemon, to help steam open the mussels; understanding that in Polish was an undertaking. B ordered a chicken roulade, which came with no complicated procedures to speak of. The men at the table next to ours, who seemed to be speaking Spanish, kept exclaiming over the large size of their cocktails. A good choice.
- Dom (House of) Sushi: I think B enjoyed this place a bit more than I did. It had the sushi water conveyer belt, from which you can pluck options at various price points, but we came late enough that there was almost nothing on there. Most of the patrons special-ordered sushi from the talented sushi chefs, both Polish. The one who made our dishes was so precise that I would call his craft an absolute art. It was also an exercise in anticipation. He seemed to be about our age, and we chatted as the place was closing up. He had been to the US once, to an area that sounded like the Poconos, for a Jewish summer camp. He lived in Gdinya (the large town to the north) and enjoyed Poland much more now than five years ago, before the expansion of economic opportunities. He spoke some Russian, but was out of practice (his words, not mine; I thought his Russian no worse than his English) because all the focus lately was on English. Nice guy, solid place, though I would not come super hungry.
- Grycan: This is the second time we got ice cream sundaes at this country-wide ‘chain’ (the first in Łódź), and I enjoyed this time even more. I’ve found that they have a tendency towards fruit sauces which taste corn-syrupy and heavy to me, and they use them in everything from yogurt to ice cream. This time, I opted for chocolate sauce instead, and I could not have been happier.
- Mont Blanc Chocolate: The good: I was able to get 4 chocolate truffles from a fancy case for $3.50! The not-as-good: The flavors were decent, but not amazing. I am clearly getting too picky. (Hi mom! Thanks for those genes!)