Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
When you think of borscht, you probably think of a bowl of dark red liquid, but do you think of a hot or cold soup? Think about it. Turns out borscht can be served at either temperature. And this time of year, there’s no question how I want my borscht. Hot and steamy.
That’s just what I found at the old-school Ukrainian East Village Restaurant. This neighborhood, which has lately become over-run with NYU students, used to be the home to a large group of Eastern European immigrants. Some of them are still in the neighborhood and thankfully, there is a handful of classic restaurants left
Most people know Veselka, but next door in the Ukrainian National Home (a community center), sits the far less fancy Ukrainian East Village Restaurant. You have to venture down a slightly intimidating hallway, so many people might never find their way inside. But you should.
Not all of the food here was spectacular – the kasha varnishkas and varenyky were both overly bland. Salt would have been a welcome addition. But the borscht and blintzes were out of this world.
This borscht was chunky with lots of surprises arriving on my spoon. Inside the warm clear beet broth lived cabbage, onions, and more beets. Dill was a welcome garnish that rounded out the sweet and sourness of the soup. It was very well-balanced and was only bettered by the complimentary basket of homemade brown and challah bread. I wish I had more soup to cover every last piece of the sweet bread.
Turns out borscht is pretty versatile. So I’ll think of hot borscht in winter and cold borscht in summer. The point is, you can (and should) have borscht all year long.
|UKRAINIAN EAST VILLAGE RESTAURANT|
|140 Second Avenue (between East 9th Street and St. Marks Place),