Warsaw has remained as the capital of Poland for over 400 years and was considered the “Paris of Eastern Europe” throughout the 1930's. Alas, it was almost entirely destroyed by the end of WWII and as a result, it is now a fascinating jumble of modern skyscrapers, concrete communist buildings, as well as gorgeous gothic, medieval and renaissance pre-war architecture.
Warsaw's Old Town with its cute pastel coloured buildings and cobblestone streets was entirely reconstructed after the war ended and was completed in the 60's. Efforts were made to reuse old bricks and keep to the designs of the old buildings, but apparently architects were also inspired by Italian paintings.
On the edge of Old Town is a lively restaurant named Zapiecek that specialises in what is probably the most famous traditional Polish dish: Pierogi. These Polish dumplings are usually stuffed either with meat, cabbage, or goats cheese, but Zapiecek offers a modern twist with salmon, blue cheese and turkey. They also have seasonal fruit fillings! I can tell you now that this place isn't just a gimmick for tourists - it really does specialise in pierogi's! The dumpling wrapper is smooth and soft (almost like a good gnocchi) and the range of fillings is just delightful.
Entering this restaurant is like walking into a classical old-world movie - with chandeliers, romantic paintings and wooden furniture as well as smiling waitresses in traditional red Polish dresses.
Zapiecek has a really nice warm ambience and is a perfect place to hide from the cold outside - and while you're at it, treat yourself to a hot cup of mulled wine (or a couple shots of vodka!) .