Saturday, May 5, 2012

Restaurant Review: Polonica

I've been wanting to try Polish food for a while now.  I've heard many raves about it, but never understood why because photos I've seen of the cuisine never defined what "good food" meant to me.  I finally discovered the reason behind this after having dinner at Polonica Restaurant in Bay Ridge, a boutique restaurant with one waiter and a little more than a handful of tables.

We walked in and waited a couple of minutes to be seated because there was only 1 wait staff in the entire restaurant, which was probably more than enough given the size of the restaurant, but a bit understaffed if all tables were full on a busy night.  It also took a while for us to finally get some water on our table, which was greatly needed at the time because it was a humid night and the restaurant wasn't too air-conditioned.  Nonetheless, these issues didn't bother my boyfriend and I because we're not demanding and we understood the circumstances.  All we cared about was the food!

Now for the food!  I have to say, Polish food probably isn't the most aesthetically appealing food to eat.  I don't often use shapes to describe food, but other than the lack of color in their dishes, odd shapes and the lack of garnishments also played a major role in its unattractiveness.  However, it was something different for our taste-buds and the unique combinations & cooking styles definitely make the cuisine note-worthy.  

For appetizers, we ordered the mushroom pierogi and Polish kielbasa.  Again, they're not photogenic but they were pretty tasty!  The pierogis, or Polish dumplings, were filled with potato and mushrooms and accompanied by some sour cream.  It was a unique combination and unlike the usual Chinese dumplings that we order out or make at home.

Couldn't stop cracking up after taking this pic ... but it was good!
This is one of those days when you want to kick yourselves for trying to be "health conscious" and go for boiled instead of fried.  I think the sausage (kielbasa) would've been more appealing to look at if it was fried, but what can we do.  We ordered the boiled one and ... well ... you can see for yourselves in the pic above.  LOL.  Don't be fooled by the pic though, it was homemade and actually quite good sided with the mustard.

For the entrees, we ordered the Hungarian pancake with meat (recommended by my boyfriend's Polish coworker) as well as the stuffed cabbage.  The pancake resembled a big hash brown, which excited my "healthy" bf lol.  He liked it so much he ate nearly 2/3 of one before trying anything else, and was full by then.  The smart one on the other hand (no need to mention names ... LOL) had 1/3 only and had room to taste AND enjoy the other dishes.  The stuffed cabbage resembled a healthier version of a burrito.  It was filled with pork and rice and topped with a tomato based sauce.


One of my favorite dishes of the night was this side salad for every party.  It was sooooooooo appetizing!  When they placed it on my table, all I thought of was Korean banchap, except it was yummier!   The red cabbage and carrots were picked and the beets were just delish!  Coleslaw and sauerkraut I've had before so I kind of just pushed them to the side, but oh-em-gee the carrots, red cabbage and beets were uh-mazing!

There you have it, our first Polish meal.  We cleaned our plates into our expanded stomaches.

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