Mamaliga chips with smoked paprika salt and spicy ajvar were polenta fried chips with a delicious relish that had the flavors of the spice but packed no heat. It was a delicious dish to begin the meal with certainly.
Fried cauliflower with paprika, parsley, watercress and
red wine vinegar. Whoever turns down fried cauliflower must be a fool. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside- Its yumminess trumps the void of nutritional value.
Pierogi of pork belly with speck, apple cider vinegar and chervil. A tough ravioli- like dumpling. I'd much prefer the thinner texture of Italian pasta, but this al dente dumpling was full of bite and with its pulled pork filling, definitely better than the floury dumplings I have had in goulash, so whilst I won't be rushing back for this, it didn't detract from the great menu at all either.
Twice cooked lamb ribs with sliced potatoes, tomato,
eggplant and rosemary. Lamb that just falls of the bone and is seated on a bed of vegetables, the dish is very substantial and is good comfort food for the cold as I'd imagine this'll be a dinner favourite for the harsh winters in Eastern Europe.
Grilled cuttlefish on squid ink risotto and parmesan. I think most people get squeamish with squid ink food. And rightfully so, it is black and uninviting. But the taste of the sea is embodied into this risotto and paired with the burst of tart cherry tomatoes, its acids cuts through the salt and makes the entire dish an interesting party in your mouth.
We paired all that delicious food and more with bottles of 2006 tin shed 'three vines' mourvedre/shiraz/grenache from barossa, known for their soft reds.
It was truly a delightful experience. The bare wooden tables almost makes you feel like you are sitting at a Polish grandma's kitchen bench and getting fed honest wholesome cooking with great company.
Although this part is one I am not sure Grandma would ever serve: the restaurant serves vodka straight in little carafes, on ice or over ice with lime. And the specialty vodkas are either infused or flavored. One potato vodka really stood out from the list, but at 30-40% alcohol and the fact that I was driving myself home, I really had to pass. We bought the birthday boy a shot and it got served with a cherry tomato as its chaser. He says it burns. But it was really good vodka all the same.
The place is easy to like. The service is relaxed yet attentive. And it's got a bar that's opened till quite late. I am definitely gonna have a vodka the next time I am back there.
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