We are two foodies that absolutely love to try new things whenever we are in a new place. Ancora seemed like a good choice to try some polish cuisine with a modern twist. We booked a table in advance, and arrived 19:30 to an almost empty restaurant. The waiter that greeted us was very polite and nice, but stiff. The restaurant has a nice decor with comfy chairs and big tables.
As soon as we were seated we were asked if we would like to have a glass of sparkling wine. We declined that (as we wanted to see the wine-list first. )
The wine-list is very comprehensive and expensive! We opted for the 5-course tasting menu, and I asked if they had a wine-menu to go with it. They did not. And the did not have any recommendations either. So we choose to share a bottle of polish Pinot Noir for 130 zloty. (Mostly out of curiosity)
The staff were very polite, but they are all very stiff and you feel very watched at times. I think they really want to do a good job, but are trying a bit hard.
The first course arrived very quickly, it was a cold starter. And it arrived long before our bread.
It consisted of a paté of chicken, a ball of goatcheese and some bird with a mustard sauce. The dish was presented very hasty, so it was hard to pick up all the elements.
The cheese and patè were very good, but the bird smelled a bit funny and it had large bits of fat on it that were not edible. It also did not work well with it´s sauce.
The second course was very interesting, and I love the idea. We had a cold watermelon soup with crispy buckwheat and goat-cheese with raspberry and blueberries. HUGE portion, and after the cheese and buckwheat were gone, it was hard to eat the soup by itself as it had a very "soapy" undertone.
The third "course" was what I would call a palate cleanser, and not a course. It was also cold. (It´s summer and all, but three cold dishes in a five course menu is a bit much)
On the other hand it tasted really good! It was a sorbet of forest fruits with some polish vodka on top.
And then we got the main course, which was really really good. And the portion was massive. It was perfectly cooked veal with mashed potatoes, squash and lentils.
For dessert we sadly were very disappointed. It consisted of cream, berries and meringue. And this was also cold. So we ended up with 4 cold dishes out of 5.
On the menu as a whole, I have to say that it´s hard to see why they ended up on these five dishes. The do not go well together, and the value for money is very poor. Some elements repeat themselves (berries, goat cheese) and this is the first time I haven´t gotten an amuse bouche when ordering five courses. (Not that this is a must, but it´s a common courtesy to the guest.) Some of the dishes are very simple, as the dessert and the sorbet with vodka. You don´t want to eat things that you can whip together at home in no time.
The staff also had a hard time clearing our table between dishes. They removed the bread long before we were done with it (after the second course.) and did not remove the jugs of watermelon-soup until after the dessert. The wine we had, was not decanted and we therefore ended up with a lot of sediment in our glasses.
There is a lot of nitpicking in this review, but after working in the kitchen for some years, and comparing Ancora to other restaurants of a similar class I would say they did not exceed our expectations or even meet them, which is a shame.
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