Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku presents an Old Town underground art gallery, a place where the poetry is turned into a dining event and the banquet into a poetry...

Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:   Historical Background

Poezja Smaku is located in the center of Cracow’s historical Old Town.

To give you the right perspective - just few blocks away on the same Jagielońska street there is a magnificent early-15th century, late-Gothic edifice of Collegium Maius - the oldest building of one of the oldest universities in the world known as Jagiellonian.

Founded in 1364 by the Polish king Casmir the Great, the Jagiellonian University had among its students such luminaries as Copernicus.

The origins of the building at the address 5, Jagielońska Str can be traced back to the 16th century.

The first known owner – Stanislaw Budny operated here a brewery. Throughout the centuries, the property has been changing hands. And although each owner was leaving behind some footprints, cellars (these days housing the restaurant) in their current shape most likely remember the time of the first owner.

Cracow Restaurants – dining in Poezja Smaku


Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:
Address:
5, Jagielońska Str.
Cracow

The major changes at 5, Jagielońska Str. took place in 1637, when the new landlord Pawlikiewicz ordered expansion of the existing building to make here his residential palace.

About 200 years later at the beginning of the 19th century the building (belonging at that time to the family Biron) was significantly remodeled by the famous architect Franciszek von Pierret.

Cracow Restaurants – dining in Poezja Smaku


Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:
Main entrance (turning left you will take you downstairs to the underground part of the restaurant.
Strait across the hall - visible garden corner.


But certainly the most significant impact on this property was determined by its more than 200 years old “relationship” with one of the most illustrious institutions in Cracow – located next to it Teatr Stary (The Old Theater).

This long term although quite “loose” relationship finally took the permanent form in 1985 when the building at 5, Jagiellonska Str. became part of the theater complex, housing now administration offices, archives and workshops.

But it was rather the presence of privileged “demi-monde” of actors, bohemians and theatre folks that shaped the destiny of the Middle-Ages cellars. Originally the cellars were used as storage for barrels of wine and beer. Certainly with this kind of historical background and centuries old interior so “à la mode” these days it was just a matter of time to see the cellars converted into a vibrant restaurant, unquestionably better serving the needs of theater’s staff and aficionados.

Cracow Restaurants – dining in Poezja Smaku


Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:
View into the fairy-tale world of cellars....


Not surprisingly, the year 1993 saw the opening of the restaurant “Osorya” (name represents an old, presumably Polish heraldic symbol).

Then in 2004 the restaurant changed its name to “Poezja Smaku” – evidently more adequately characterizing the place. The new name “Poezja Smaku”, which can be translated as “The Poetry of Flavor” beautifully points to restaurant’s prevailing ambiance – a place where an art of cooking, serving and eating or in other words – “The Dining Event” is turned into poetry……

Cracow Restaurants – dining in Poezja Smaku


Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:
Is it still the restaurant or already the theater's stage?


The restaurant Poezja Smaku occupies five Middle-Ages cellars under the Stary Teatr. Despite the apparent coldness of centuries old stone and brick arched walls and ceilings the restaurant glows with warmness.

Thanks to friendly settings, amiable decorations, large tables and comfortable, cozy sofas….. Poezja Smaku may well be one of these places where you want to “get lost” for a while…..

Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:    The Poetry of Flavor" or the "The Taste of Poetry" 

Not surprisingly the elegance of early 20th century costumes and splendor of “haute-couture” dressed mannequins, numerous paintings, mirrors and other “curiosities” decorating the restaurant as well as fine art-deco furniture give impression that you may be dining in an underground art gallery or on the stage of the Old Theatre itself.

The only difference is that here scenarios are written by The Chef … And one more - there is no public, you play your role of a “Gourmand” in a privacy of your friends ……

Cracow Restaurants – dining in Poezja Smaku


Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:
Isn't it a perfect charming hideout place with a lot of history around?


Since the beginning of restaurant’s operation the strong “liaison” with the theater brought to the cellars intimate theatrical atmosphere influenced by frequent presence of artists, poets and actors…..

During special evenings called “Feasts with an Intermission” actors present local legends together with long forgotten stories from the city’s rich historical past.

In fact, thanks to frequently organized concerts, arts expositions, tango shows, as well as presentations of music (be it folk, Klezmer and even Gypsy), sometimes you may feel there like the dinner mysteriously transforms into a theatrical spectacle in which you play a supporting role….(if you can dance tango, you may actually take the leading role :-).

This may justify the different translation of the Polish name “Poezja Smaku” quite often seen also as - “The Taste of Poetry”. Indeed, some may argue that the restaurant “Poezja Smaku” is a place where the poetry is turning into “The Dining Event”…..

Honestly, probably both translations are right because here performing arts and art of cooking intermingle together……

Poezja Smaku specializes in traditional Polish cuisine. You will find here “bigos” (stew of sauerkraut with pieces of sausage and meat - a favorite meal of hunters), “żurek” (sour rye-flour soup with white sausage and egg), very Polish “pierogi” stuffed in “thousand and one” versions (from sweet to meat), red borsch (beetroot soup with mushrooms’ dumplings), stuffed pancakes (apparently to die for)….. .just to name few.

Cracow Restaurants – dining in Poezja Smaku


Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:
Garden corner in Cracow's restaurants is almost "the must"....


If this list is not appealing enough, then there are also more elaborate meals representing culinary treasures since long enjoyed by countryside’s nobility. Roasted wild boar, deer’s steak, baked pheasant, pork fillet stuffed with plums, duck breast in cranberry sauce, baked knuckle etc… can certainly satisfy most refined tastes.

The restaurant’s guestbook reveals many famous names – among them you will find Prince Edward (Earl of Wessex) with his wife Sophie. As the memory of this banquet Poezja Smaku offers a special dinner menu called “Prince Edward Party”. For a very modest price of about $30 the restaurant proposes:

Aperitif
A glass of dry sherry

Appetizers
Mushrooms in cream

Soup
Broccoli soup with smoked salmon and almonds

Maincourse
Wild boar - Cracovian style

Dessert
Spicy pear in chocolate souce with ice-cream

Although it is difficult to confirm with certainty what exactly was “on the table” that day of November 3, 2004, the current offer undoubtedly “sounds delicious” so you may seriously consider joining Prince Edward ……And as far as I know, regardless of lack of aristocratic genes in your genealogical tree, you still will be served there as a king (or a prince as the matter of fact).

If you come with few friends a very good choice seems to be the menu for 4 called Jagiellonian Royal Dish. It generously combines several different types of meat with veggies and potatoes……

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

full size: 2.13MB 2.87MB 2.58MB

Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:
The kingdom of cellars despite its underground location looks warm and inviting!
On the left - the painting on the wall is part of the permanent exposition by Agata Zielinska

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

full size: 2.08MB 2.27MB 2.11MB

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

full size: 2.79MB 3.02MB 2.93MB

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

full size: 3.09MB 2.06MB 2.899MB

Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:
The elegance of early 20th century costumes and splendor of “haute-couture” dressed mannequins, numerous paintings, mirrors and other “curiosities” decorating the restaurant as well as fine art-deco furniture give impression that you may be dining in an underground art gallery or on the stage of the Old Theatre itself....

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

full size: 2.42MB 2.67MB 2.60MB

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

Cracow Restaurants–Poezja Smaku

full size: 1.82MB 3.14MB 2.91MB

Cracow Restaurants – Poezja Smaku:
On the left - Either oasis of peace or the place for punishing "misbehaving customers" or ?.... :-)


To watch the presentation of the restaurant please select the following link:
Poezja Smaku Presents ....

As the restaurant’s owner, Mme Barbara Bińczyk points out – the best recipe for culinary success is to follow almost 250 years old advice by Katharina Elizabeth Goethe’s (1731-1808 - mother of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe):

Take 12 months and clean them from envy, bitterness, greed and fear. Then divide each month into 30 or 31 equal parts, so that the supply will last for one year.

Each day's meal prepare individually, arranging it from one portion of work and equal amounts of cheerfulness and humor.

Add to it 3 heaped tablespoons of optimism, 1 of tolerance, one grain of irony and 1 pinch of tact.

Then generously dowse the mass all over with tenderness and love.

The finished dish can be decorated with posies of little pleasures and compliments.
Serve it daily with amusement!


Bon appétit
Tom

If you want to visit other restaurants in Cracow, please follow the link: Old Town Cracow Restaurants




If you enjoyed this visit, then please share your experience with friends :-)



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