If you eat in no other restaurant while in Poland, please be sure you get to the Gessler. Finally found it on my 3rd trip. I've eaten in lots of restaurants all over Poland, but this one is stellar. We enter on street level and then are escorted down the stone steps to an absolute wonderland. Not only must I rave about the food...but the decorating of this restaurant is dynamite. It's as if you were walking thru a museum as you pass through room after room delightfully colorful with flowers, antiques, old costumes, something in every nook and cranny. I could have stayed a week.
2nd visit: July 2006 .... couldn't resist returning for another wonderful dinner and tour of a fascinating series of richly decorated rooms.
As I've said before, visiting the Gessler Restaurant is like wandering thru rooms of a museum. Each corner is decorated so simply yet elegantly. I loved the native costume display. The colors are so rich and wonderful.
Don't forget to notice the walls when you enter this wonderful restaurant. Special guests have signed their names and some have drawn little pictures or cartoons. The names might mean more to the Poles...but one that I noticed was....the Philadelphia Orchestra!! Interesting and delectible through and through.
Once my Warsaw friends, whom I had helped a bit, in turn invited me to this restaurant for a diner. Well, they didn't allow me to pay for myself, luckily haha. The proper name of the restaurant is "Dom Restauracyjny Gessler - Krokodyl" that means Restaurant House Gessler - Crocodile. In fact there are two restaurants: an elegant, fancy restaurant on the ground floor we dined in and downstairs the Karczma Gessler, a traditional country inn, set up in amazing labyrinthine vaulted cellars, and serving mainly typical old-style Polish peasant food. Sometimes musicians (Gypsy or Polish) play there.
Look at the walls while you enter the restaurant gate. There are little pictures and cartoons with writings of some special guests (VIPs) there. Flowers, candelabras, antiques, old costumes and other decorations make the interiors similar to museum. I enjoyed the magical, warm atmosphere of the old good times, friendly service and the great selection of traditional Polish, old-Polish and European food in the menu. Add good list of wines and local, Polish beer.
Well, the only disadvantage of dining there is a fat bill, at least as for Poland. A soup costs some 30 - 50 zl!, main course about 60 - 120 zl (16 - 32 euros). If it's too much for you choose the less expensive restaurant and do enjoy but, anyway, go to see the wonderful restaurant interiors :-).
Favorite Dish: Our waiter welcomed us with some creamy goat cheese (free) which tasted great.
I remember that I had delicious broth with dumplings and the Polish speciality of this restaurant called "szyjki rakowe z kurkami" that were the necks of crayfish with wild forest chanterelle mushrooms. They tasted FANTASTIC! And surprisingly those crayfish are almost the least expensive main course in the menu now (59 zl = 15.5 euros).
My friends ordered duck with apples and some meat dish and they were very satisfied as well.
I have to be honest with this one. A few people told me that I have to try this place while in Warsaw and so I did. It's location right in Old Town Square is enviable and there are two separate eating areas, a ground level dining room and a more intimate, but less formal, labyrinthine cellar below. I ate downstairs and while I appreciated the atmosphere and the great selection of traditional Polish food on the menu, the prices were a bit high in my opinion.
Favorite Dish: I ordered two appetizers. First an order of pierogi and then an order of some kind of blood sausage. Both were good, but not mind-blowingly good. I can't remember exactly how much I spent, but it was around $40 US. A little pricey for 2 appetizers and a beer.
This restaurant offers a choice of 2 dining areas: a formal restaurant on the ground floor, and a rustic country inn in the brick cellars below.
The menu consists of mostly polish dishes.
The decorations are wonderful and seems to transport customers back in time! Sometimes musicians come in and play music, which adds to the amazing ambience.
The service is friendly.
Favorite Dish: Rolled beef
Trout with sour cream