Back in March, on a cold day, we went to Queens, in Sunnyside, to celebrate our friend Livia's birthday, at Bucharest, a Romanian restaurant. We went on a Saturday and I enjoyed the fact that the place was not crowded as we could hear each other talk, until they started string up the place for a party that night and the star of the event started singing. Don't get me wrong: it was entertaining, but, as you may know if you follow this blog, I appreciate a quiet place when eating, so I can fully enjoy being with family and friends.
So, it is a big place, with 2 main dining areas. The first one is at the entrance, with its bar and the large painting on the wall that give a certain authenticity to the place I guess. The second, being the area where I believe they organize parties; long and wide, with a stage in the back for the entertainment and the disco lights.
I never had Romanian food before, so I let Livia and her husband George guide me in this culinary discovery. Livia told me that a typical meal starts with a soup, so I decided to go for it and went with apparently a classic, the Ciorbă de Burtă or tripe soup.
The soup came with some sour cream and a green pepper that I totally ignored. It was very creamy and perfect for this cold day. The tripe was in the bottom. It has been so long since I have had a dish with tripe: I really enjoyed it.
Jodi went for a more classic dish: Salată românească or Romanian salad, that had tomato, olives, cheese, lettuce...
For the entrées, we also followed Livia and George's advice. Jodi ordered a deliciously creamy polenta with cheese and sour cream (Mămăligă cu smăntănă):
On my side, I went for the Romanian sausages or Mititei with French fries.
Both dishes were very good, but I have to say that the sausage was my favorite: they were moist and so tasty, but there was so much of it and I really wanted to have a dessert, especially as I had my eyes on the Papanasi that are donuts with sour cream and jam on it.
I loved the donut that was deliciously fried and not too sweet, but the sour cream was too much, hiding the delicious taste of the fried dough. I wished I knew there was all this sour cream on top of the donut, because I would have asked for it on the side.
I should mention that we accompanied our meal with some red Romanian wine, a Fetească Neagră from 2012:
This was a great lunch: good food and good company. I would definitely go back to Bucharest to try some other specialties.
Enjoy (I did)!
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