Fine dining is synonymous with quality cuisine, a true gem for the gourmands and a tourist magnet. Famous chefs and experienced restaurateurs outdo one another in this field with ideas for winning over the hearts and palates of cuisine lovers and showcasing their own unique style. Poznań, thanks to its trade fair, academic and tourist traditions has taken good care of the palates of its guests from every corner of the planet. A number of years’ experience, passion and typical Poznań trustworthiness have allowed many restaurants to achieve a unique style, with which they battle for European recognition.
Cambridge Dictionary defines fine dining as “a style of eating that usually takes place in expensive restaurants, where especially good food is served to people, often in a formal way”. Wikipedia also accentuates the wide range of services and the so-called set menu, as well as the interior decor of the place in terms of both style and materials used to arrange it. Equally important is the way of serving the meal - the so-called service as well as the unvoiced expectation for the guest to behave in a certain way.
For some, this kind of dining is a real festivity in itself; for others, it is a source of stress and an example of the proverbial “form over substance”. There is no point in claiming it is a necessity or a nuisance in the ever-changeable gastronomic reality. One thing is certain - it is a style with vast and fascinating tradition where the quality, the form and the pace of eating a meal turns it into an event much closer to an evening at the opera than to a dorm-room concert. If you are among those who appreciate this form of dining then there is a chance for a fascination. If you are sceptical - do not force it, and do not confront your guests with fine dining unannounced, as the result might be opposite to the one desired. Instead of an evening filled with sighs of delight there will be doubt, nervousness and awkwardness.
Elegant restaurants are sometimes referred to as “white-tablecloth restaurants”. This stems from the age-old tradition of serving food on a wonderfully set table. This is the atmosphere you will find in restaurants like MUGA, family restaurants Delicja and Figaro or Milano in Park Sołacki. The white tablecloths have become somewhat of a symbol of this particular, sophisticated culinary experience and although their actual appearance decreased in popularity over time, the stately service and exquisite atmosphere have remained as a characteristic of fine dining. The expectation towards the patrons have also been slightly loosened, especially since they themselves have stated their willingness to discover the fine dining magic only if the above-mentioned rules and expectations do not stress them excessively. A nóż Widelec, Autentyk Kuchnia i Ludzie and Cucina will serve you unusual dishes in a slightly freer atmosphere. Also noteworthy are two slightly younger, equally excellent culinary designs, namely F***ing Delicius, 62 Bar & Restaurant and L33. If you are willing to venture into the outskirts of Poznań, it is worth adding Figa restaurant in Plewiska, Aromaa restaurant in Rokietnica, Lumiere in Baranów, Oskoma in Trzaskowo and Sezony in Trzek to your list. Also mentioned in the many recommendations and conversations are SMielżyński, Słoń, Mollini Restaurante, Nifty no. 20, Papavero, Hotel Moderno restaurant and the slightly lesser known Enjoy.
It is worth taking into account that there are still relatively few fine dining style restaurants out there. Many places able to offer their clientele this type of experience consciously choose to tailor their services towards the so-called “smart casual”. And so, if the strictly rigorous candle-lit dinner is what you expect, it would be recommended to inquire about it at the restaurant in advance. Remember - it is not only the presentation and composition of the dishes, but also the attire and utensils of the staff, the experience and celebration of the waiting staff, the proper lighting and the background music.