“ Address: Dźwirzyno ul. Wyzwolenia 6 „
Last June, when we stayed in Grzybowo on the Polish Baltic Coast we noticed that the pizza restaurant belonging to the campsite had disappeared. We didn't fancy dining at Milano's on the main street of the town so decided to look out for other options. One morning as I was walking to the local shop to buy bread I noticed a big poster advertising Alforno's, an Italian restaurant in Dzwirzyno. This is the next seaside resort along the coast and can be reached by walking although it is a bit of a trek. That same evening we decided to hop in the car and go and check the place out.
The restaurant is situated on the main street intermingled with tacky souvenir shops. It's a large restaurant with a cocktail bar outside on the terrace to the left of the entrance. The terrace is very pretty with lots of hanging baskets and a line of small conifers that act as a barrier to block out passersby but if you are tall enough when sat down you can still see people walk by the restaurant. We didn't sit outside on this occasion as it was a bit nippy and the wind was blowing in from the sea. Before we entered the main entrance I couldn't help notice a quiet area tucked away behind the cocktail bar and underneath a wrought iron spiral staircase. This was the Greek area and had been decorated in blue and white with pictures of Santorini on the wall. In reality it was a bit shabby but I suppose it had its own charm although there were only three tables so wouldn't be able to accommodate many people.
Seeing that the whole family had their hearts set on eating pizza we walked inside the restaurant and left the Greek Taverna unattended. The décor of the restaurant was very attractive with deep red painted walls, several canvases hung on each of the walls depicting scenes from around the world, tiled floor and heavy wooden tables with chairs to match. A striped tablecloth was placed on every table with a piece of heavy glass on the top of it. I have never seen this before but it is a handy trick. It keeps the cloth clean and the waiter/waitress can just give the glass top a quick wipe over. I noticed a couple of decorated, circular mirrors which I liked and just before the entrance hung a lovely old station clock and a couple of wrought iron lanterns.
Only a couple of tables were occupied so we had plenty to choose from and decided to sit in the right hand corner of the room. Our granddaughter sat at the table with us but we asked for a high chair for our grandson and this came forthwith. At the same time the waitress gave us each a very large menu. This is always a worrying sign as everyone knows that all the food cannot be freshly prepared. As we were looking at the full choice of meals a couple walked in, went to sit in the back of the restaurant and within a few minutes walked out again. I have walked out of a restaurant before but never seen anyone else do it. Perhaps they didn't like what was on offer.
Our waitress was very nice and gave us a lot of time to look through the menu. We didn't feel rushed at all. We ordered four beers from the pump and two fruit juices for the children. These came within minutes. The beers were ice cold and delicious. We chose three large pizzas to share between four adults and 2 small children; four cheeses, vegetarian and a pepperoni. Waiting time was about 10 minutes which was fine. The waitress brought the four cheeses pizza first followed by the pepperoni and then the vegetarian pizza came last with a large pepper mill. My husband had to ask for olive oil as he always likes to drizzle a substantial amount over the top of his pizza and it is something that isn't at hand in Polish pizza restaurants.
I couldn't get over the size of the pizzas and thought we had ordered too much food as usual but surprisingly they weren't too filling probably because the bases were light with a touch of crispiness around the edges and the toppings weren't too heavy, in fact I think I would have liked a few more vegetables on mine. My daughter-in-law tucked into the pepperoni pizza first and after two slices she said that it was very salty and gulped her beer down. I tried a piece and found the pepperoni very hot. I also thought that the toppings were dry and could have done with more moisture. We were all parched and ordered more beers and my son asked for a bowl of garlic sauce as he too found his four cheeses pizza dry. The waitress returned to the table with two small white pots filled with garlic sauce. This did the trick. The pizzas were okay but not the best I have ever tasted. I think they were just too big and the amount of ingredients used for the toppings wasn't balanced with the amount of dough. Still, they filled a gap and I did like the atmosphere and décor of the place so I'm not going to grumble too much.
My son asked for the bill which at a guess came to just over 200 zloty (£40.25). I wasn't allowed to see the price as it was a treat so as soon as it came to the table he went with my daughter-in-law to the bar to pay for it. It was a very tidy and attractive bar with all spirits lined up at the back. A huge bowl of fresh fruit on top of the counter and bottles of wine placed in rattan baskets. There was a fully stocked fridge full of soft drinks and mineral water at the side of the bar near to the toilets. As I went to the loo I noticed that on the bottom shelf of the fridge were bottles of white and red wine. I wouldn't have thought it was a good idea to store red wine in the fridge. I have at times placed a bottle for a few minutes to cool down on a very hot day but I have never seen this done in a restaurant before.
The toilets were well presented and spotlessly clean with towels, plenty of loo rolls, hand soap and paper towels. The cubicles were simply decorated in pastel shades with heavy wooden doors and windows. The washbasins were white. Looked new and had wooden cupboard doors underneath.
Above the restaurant are rooms that are rented out, offering bed and breakfast (Olecki Pensjonata), a good location as it is only about 50 metres from the sea although in high season might be noisy with passers-by.
I have only mentioned pizzas but there are other items on the menu including Polish dishes, grills (meat and fish based), salads, pasta dishes, ice cream and fancy cakes. You can have just a coffee and a cake or a glass of wine - you don't have to order a full meal.
I will go back again to this restaurant, I like the location and I like the fact that you can walk to the sea after a meal or if you don't want to do that just walk around the shops looking for fun items to take back home. Next time I will choose something else apart from pizza, a mixed grill perhaps or I might even sit in the Greek quarter and order Moussaka.
You can find Restauracja Alforno at this address: ul. Wyzwolenia 6
Telephone number: 94 358 51 56
Web: www. Pensjonataolecki.pl
Parking can be tricky as there isn't any available space outside the restaurant. There are lots of small side streets so it is a good idea to go early to find a spot.