Zielnik means a place with lots of green, freshness, and plants. The word is a little bit out of this century (even out of the 20th century for that matter) – it brings to mind childhood memories of holidays in the countryside, near a river, with lots of sun and white clothes. Geese and ducks are gabbling and quacking, grass blades tingle your nose, and everything around you is so flowery and calm.
And so is Cafe Zielnik. It’s impossible not to spot it: the green floods out of the door onto the grey pavement. Lush decorations tentatively invite you inside. And inside is another world with curtains dotted with violet flowers, soft pea green pillows, and indigo ribbons around the menu.
Exactly. The menu. “Free range chicken with liver parfait and Polish cider. Grilled prawns with garlic toast. Chilled Lithuanian beetroot soup”. Everything is well balanced, perfectly seasoned, and sooo delicious. If you are not convinced up to this point, wait for the desserts. First comes apple pie the way that grandma used to make it (with melting vanilla ice-cream on top), traditional cheesecake, and – my personal favourite – layered meringue with pistachios (although recently it’s fighting for first place with fruits baked in eggnog).
Prepare to spend long hours here. In the end, how often do you have a chance to go back to your childhood?