Walk down a silent alley which connects the main old town street to Novotel Gdańsk, past a few hostels and you will see a discreet sign announcing A La Française. Don’t hesitate! Walk right in, your taste buds will thank you!
A La Française
Walking into A La Française is like walking into an authentic, no-frills French café. A cozy restaurant with chequered tables, pretty chandeliers and a very well stocked drinks cabinet! A place, which by its sheer simplicity promises some amazing food, and fulfills that promise!
We started our meal with homemade Foie Gras served with onion jam, a refreshing salad, and warm bread. The Foie Gras was rich, buttery and melt in the mouth; the onion jam added an interesting sweet and tart flavor that went very well with the warm crusty yet soft bread. We paired our starters with a refreshing Mimosa.
Galettes from Brittany
For our main course, Chef Dominique recommended that we try the famous Galettes, a Brittany specialty. The Galettes are essentially crispy buckwheat pancakes stuffed with fillings of your choice. They are gluten free, they are vegan, they are vegetarian, they are carnivore friendly, in short, they are extremely versatile and totally yum! We tried the traditional Brittany Galettes with Emmental cheese, ham and onion pickles with spinach, topped by an egg. The pancakes were crispy and crunchy and stuffed with filling. With the pancakes, we tried a semi-sweet cider that is specially imported from a brewer in Brittany. It was fruity and crisp and worked very well with the Galette.
Now, we came, to what is for me, the best part of the meal, the desserts! What I loved was that Chef Dominique was almost as excited as us! He served up the classic Crepe Suzette and a traditional chocolate cake. The Crepe Suzette was perfectly sweet and citrusy and would have been an amazing end to an amazing meal if it weren’t for the chocolate cake.
A Chocolate Cake Made In Heaven
The chocolate cake, as you can see, looked like a very simple, normal chocolate cake, but let me tell you, looks can be deceiving! Imagine the richest, most decadent chocolate cake you’ve ever eaten and now forget about it, because it was nothing on the cake that we ate!
It was dark, moist, melt in your mouth with a simple yet one of the most complex flavors that I have had in a long while. The cake championed one ingredient and that was chocolate. None of over the top extravaganza that you see now a day, just a simple, slow-cooked cake, served with a strawberry sauce and Chantilly cream. A cake that exploded your senses! Yeah, as you can see, I loved it!
Chef Dominique Chesnais
We were lucky to catch Chef Dominique Chesnais between orders and talk to him. Chef Dominique hails from Brittany and has worked in Brittany, other parts of France, Ireland, Krakow and England before coming to Gdańsk with his partner Joanna and opening the first and currently only French restaurant in Gdańsk. The menu at A La Francaise is extensive and showcases the best of what Brittany has to offer, using mostly local Polish ingredients where possible.
A Cozy French Cafe
After our meal, chef Dominique took us on a tour of the charming restaurant. The ground floor is a restaurant and the upper floor has the kitchen and a small and cozy event space that can seat around 20 people. The highlight of the room are the walls, which are adorned with old family photographs and memorabilia. If you are nice, the Chef will point out his grandmother, parents and other family members and share some of their stories with you.
Overall, we loved the restaurant, the service was nice and the chef and the food were the stars of the show. We will definitely be taking our friends and going back!
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