You get two tasting menus at this Warsaw restaurant – one to eat, and one to see

Warsaw – In the beginning stages of designing interiors for Opasly Tom, a Polish restaurant in Warsaw, Buck.Studio kept running into a wall. The team needed to find a way to take the unconventional split level layout of the eatery’s new, larger location and turn it into a compelling stage that would spatially and gastronomically appeal to diners.

To propel themselves forward in the project, they looked to what was already working well for the restaurant: the menu. Opasly Tom serves up contemporary, seasonal twists on traditional dishes like roulade and buckwheat pancakes and has become popular amongst tourists and locals alike. Buck.Studio realized what they required was a common denominator, an interior element that would match the culinary narrative of the conscientiously crafted bill of fare and tell a congruent story between the suite of connecting rooms.

It does, on occasion, happen that one’s eyes are bigger than their stomachs – so in finding the solution, they catered to that organ. A wisely chosen colour palette turns the spatial shifts of the layout into a visual experience and plays on the menu’s seasonality. A heady coral, sage, honey and inky blue enliven a grand hall boasting a sprawling view of Warsaw’s old houses, bar and reading room, wine room and two private rooms, in addition to the main dining area and another with a view of the kitchen.

Buck.Studio’s differentiated use of colour in each room gives the feeling that a diner is seeing – and experiencing – something new with each trip to the restaurant. Yet instead of muting the culinary impact of the food, the interiors instead capitalize upon it.

And, to heighten this sensation, the studio chose a material palette that would honour the tasteful decadence of the interior spectrum: refined poplar burl, geometric terrazzo, oak wood and untreated marble. Classic oak parquet flooring and velvet curtains are a nod to the building’s 20th century life as a pre-WWII restaurant and cabaret. Bespoke lighting fixtures crafted from Polish hand-blown glass match the scale and function of each room and hang like preserved desserts.

Much like culinary fanfare, there’s a final, clever garnish. Within the entire restaurant, Buck.Studio wove in the graphic motif they also designed for the restaurant – a simple orange ‘O’, not a touch out of place.

The takeaway: Colour can be a powerful and cost-effective tool in creating multifaceted hospitality spaces that excite diners (especially the social media savvy) visit after visit.

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