Marconi Restaurant is the Italian offer in the Le Méridien Bristol that was originally called Hotel Bristol Warszawa and it was founded already in 1901. The hotel quickly became the luxury venue to stay at when you are in Warsaw. By the end of the Second World War most of the hotel was untouched despite Hitler’s order of destroying the entire city of Warsaw. The hotel was not destroyed thanks to the fact that several high ranked Nazi officers lived in the hotel that was restored by the Socialist Realism regime and reopened in 1947. It was closed in 1981, as it had lost its competitive edge among the newer hotels, but was reopened again in 1993 after the fall of the Communism and is today renamed Le Méridien Bristol and is run by Starwood Hotels.
The restaurant is located on the hotel’s ground floor just next to the so called Royal Route that tourists like to call it, but its real name is Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, which is a part of the Royal Route that leads through the historical parts of Warsaw. There is a lot of security outside the hotel due to the fact that Le Méridien Bristol’s nearest neighbour is the President Palace.
Marconi Restaurant has become popular by the locals thanks to its brunch that it is served every Sunday complete with a buffet and live classic music. The cuisine is influenced only by the Italian cuisine, but it does not follow it by the letter. It was season for asparagus on our last visit so several courses made with asparagus could be ordered such as asparagus salad with beef carpaccio with truffle lemon dressing that is an okay dish to order in even if the carpaccio tastes close to nothing.
We have also tried the overloaded dish of green and white cooked asparagus with new potatoes and a sauce of your selection or a combination of several sauces like the Hollandaise combined with clarified butter. This course consists of 250 grams of asparagus so it is a big dish that easily can be ordered in as the main or only course if it is a lunch and the taste is okay as well, but you will get very tired of cooked asparagus if you manage to eat the full 250 grams. We would have been happier to see local Polish asparagus instead of the imported German for less carbon footprint and hopefully that is something that will be considered very soon.
The menu is changed regularly and since it is Italian influenced you can of course order in pasta such as the tagliatelle with olive oil, garlic, spinach, cherry tomatoes and asparagus, but it lacks distinct flavours that are needed to make the dish a success. We have ordered in the same meat dishes several times and every time they have been disasters with absolutely no flavours to talk about. The bison grass marinated pork loin with buckwheat pierogi filled with sheep cheese ‘bryndza’, cranberry sauce with Polish ‘Zubrówka’ and spicy apple qualifies as one of the worst and most tasteless meat dishes we have had for years.
The waiters are in most cases insecure and cannot answer even the easier questions you might have about the origin of different ingredients and wine. They seem to be completely unfamiliar with the term of doing the meat the chef’s way so make sure to be specific regarding exactly how you like your meat to be.
No, Marconi Restaurant is not a good restaurant as it is today and you should consider carefully if you should spend your time and money on a restaurant like this when there are so many better alternatives in Warsaw alone.
Written by Andy