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If there is one restaurant in Krakow that exemplifies the city's glorious royal history and its latter-day status as central Europe's renaissance jewel, it must surely be Wierzynek. Legend has it that in 1364 Mikolai Wierzynek hosted an extravagant feast for the wedding of King Casimir the Great's granddaughter to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. Crowned heads of Europe were served delicacies on gold plates that they were then invited to keep.
Today the restaurant that takes his name occupies eight rooms in two adjacent buildings on the Rynek, where the Royal Route leaves the Main Square and heads south down Grodzka. Each of these rooms is furnished in opulent style, whether it be old suits of armour, surrealist paintings, tapestries or frescoes. Here is where visiting heads of state, Nobel Prize-winners and celebrities are fed and entertained - and a quick look at the visitor's book will verify this.
Wierzynek is all about grand cuisine in grand style, and the menu reflects this. You can opt for a traditional Polish set menu, or go a la carte for a more pan-European experience. Either way, you can enjoy the theatre of full silver service, with uniformed waiting staff removing the silver covers from dishes in strict synchronization. It goes without saying that the wine cellar is top-drawer.
And if you're not yet convinced of the need to visit Wierzynek then the argument that is perhaps most persuasive is that it is also listed in the bestselling guide '1000 Places To See Before You Die' - and if that isn't a recommendation, I don't know what is!