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Just 10 days ago, we experienced a phenomenal dining experience thanks to a visiting 2-Michelin Star chef from France here in Warsaw.
Besides dining at Nolita for my birthday, this special 7-course degustation menu by Chef Olivier Nasti, MOF, was THE best meal we’ve eaten in our Polish capital city. The event was hosted by the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria and sponsored by AirFrance so we sampled some fantastic French wines (at a bargain) as well.
Chef Nasti has achieved some high accolades in his culinary career such as competing and then winning the Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF, best craftsman of France) title in 2007 and 2 Michelin stars for his restaurant Le Chambard in Kaysersberg, a small town along the Alsace wine route in northeastern France, in 2014. Nasti will retain the MOF title for life and is one that’s recognized by culinary professionals worldwide. (I haven’t visited the Alsace region yet, but that’s where my head chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, also hails from and whom I luckily worked for in NYC for nearly 3 years.)
|Chef Nasti plating the roasted pineapple dessert at the Le Victoria Brasserie Moderne.|
Our fancy French dinner started with a glass of French G.H. Mumm champagne followed by an amuse-bouche of foie gras mousse with perfectly brunoise of tart apples and mushrooms. I love anything with foie!
The first course was an interesting play on spinach and eggs with the egg white being cooked at 64C by sous vide, served with a spinach puree and langoustine sauce. A little odd, but still delicious.
The second course featured smoked eel with pike fish mousse and orange gel. This was my least favorite dish mainly because I dislike ANY smoked fish. But the glass of 2009 Meursault Clos du Cromin, a honey-flavored chardonnay from Burgundy, was lovely.
Our third course was a superbly-cooked, flaky sea bass fillet with charred leeks and topped with tiny morsels of mussels and oysters. This dish made me long for the fresh sea bass I used to buy when we lived in Istanbul.
The main entrée was roasted pigeon smothered in black truffles and served with a dollop of celeriac puree. I also love truffles!
After the main dishes, we were treated to not just one, but TWO desserts AND a plateful of petit fours. At that point, I think I had died and gone to heave while my husband was starting to complain how full he was and couldn’t eat any more sweets. It’s a rare treat to enjoy a fancy meal like this and it makes me nostalgic for my restaurant days.
|Plating chocolate goodness!|
|Dessert number 1: a rich, dark chocolate mille feuille with coffee ice cream|
|Petit fours and dessert number 2: roasted pineapple baked in Zacapa rum and served with pineapple sorbet and passion fruit.|
Throughout our tasting meal, I enjoyed watching Chef Nasti work alongside Executive Chef Maciej Majewski of the Le Victoria Brasserie Moderne and his crew. I love experiencing the culinary dance that happens in a professional kitchen – the careful plating, the swoosh of purees across a fine bone china plate and the final inspection of each and every plate before it goes out to the diners. Luckily, the Brasserie features an open kitchen so you can enjoy this same experience even when a famous French chef isn’t in the house!
|Chef Nasti and Executive Chef Majewski plating dishes together for our French dinner.|
I should also mention that the service and attentiveness from the Sofitel staff was impeccable. Other Warsaw restaurants should take note of this high level of service.
I swear if there’s an afterlife, I want to come back as French woman and enjoy as much foie and truffles as I want!
Le Victoria Brasserie Moderne at the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria
Królewska street 11
(Note: I’ve heard the Sofitel’s Chef Majewski also serves wonderful takes on French dishes. Here’s a recent review by blogger friend, Magda at Crust & Dust. I think we’ll have to return again soon.)