Go Polish or go home. Greenpoint Brooklyn is pretty much the epicenter of great NYC dining these days along with Bushwick and Bed Sty. Obviously there are wonderful finds all throughout the borough(s) but from ethnic to a gourmand’s nirvana, these three areas have more than arrived.
So yeah, seems like a better plan to eat Yin food in a Yang season. Things that are cooling and hydrating really do appeal. Except when treated to brunch at one of the best Polish restaurants in NYC. Oh well. Chi imbalance but happy tummy.
There are a couple of lovely Polish venues in Greenpoint but I do have a soft spot for Lomzynianka. Lovely staff in a dark and plastic home away from home. Brick wallpaper, crackly tablecloths and always holiday decorated stag heads. Toss in lace curtains and tiny homey table lamps and you have a lovely respite from the unrelenting sunshine plus comfort food of a pretty high order. Mama must be in the kitchen because the food is definitely made with love.
Pickled vegetables, coleslaw and shredded beets served in a cold jumble are as refreshing as any offering for the table could be. Sugar, vinegar, tang. It’s perfect. But if nothing else – hop trains, buses, snag a ride just for the red cabbage and creamy cucumbers. And dill. They do love their dill here. The dish is cooling and flavorful, makes you forget the heat outside and the nap you’ll need later. I didn’t want to stop eating it.
But if you were to only use your metro pass for one dish, the red cabbage is in direct competition with the potato pancakes. It’s like having candy, potato pancake candy. Dip your forkful in apple sauce or sour cream or both. The delicate crunch, slightly oily, addictive sweetness adopts the Lays adage – bet you can’t eat just one. And even if you could – why would you want to?
It’s cheap enough to try everything, if you have the appetite capacity for it all. Borscht comes in red with dumplings and vegetables or white with sausage and bits of hard boiled egg. Sweet, sour, savory – they leave no beet unturned. Served with a rye bread basket, both borschts (say that 5x fast) are fabulous though the white seems to be the borscht that dreams are made of.
Don’t forget the ethereal veal meatballs, who would have thought that fluffy would be your go to word here? My dining companion flipped for the kielbasa sausage stuffed with savory pork and covered in the crispiest of skin. I like a good pierogie and had to go with fried over boiled. Shimmering golden brown and filled either with sauerkraut/mushroom, farmer cheese or potato and cheese. Still sticking with oozing fluffiness here. Plenty of horseradish later, I was done.
Lomzynianka’s food dispels the eastern european myth most often subscribed to of heavy, filling and maybe tasteless. While not the likes of a green smoothie, their food shines for it’s lighter hand. The herbs and sauces are a quirky marriage of european cultures merged by history and injected with the sharp clarity of juniper. Kind of heady. No need to wait for winter, truck on over in bermudas and see for yourself.
646 Manhattan Avenue / Greenpoint
Cash only and BYO
* Header photo by Angela Carbonetti / http://www.angelacarbonetti.com