March 26, 2005
You Cranium Dining
Miss Mary (Mary Carpenter, who worked with me for six concerts running) is part Ukranian, which meant a pilgrimage down to Kiev on 7th St and 2nd Avenue with Abe and Cynthia for an appropriate Easter meal.
I remembered Kiev as a greasy spoon joint. They've upgraded: upholstered banquettes and signature martinis, but the prices haven't gone up that badly (it was never all that cheap.)
The borscht now comes in a square china bowl, but it's rich with beef. I altered my own borscht recipe after sampling the borscht at Veselka (up the avenue two blocks at 9th Street). My recipe is an amalgam of Eugenia Doll's recipe (from the Gold & Fizdale cookbook) and Bernard Clayton Jr.s recipe from The Complete Book of Soups and Stews. Now I add more cubes of stewed chuck and spike it with a larger shot of white vinegar. Still, Kiev should know that sour cream is not optional.
The presentation of entrees was quite handsome, but almost funny considering the materials. Mary ordered the Kozak, an assortment of all the foods she craved for Easter (potato pancakes, pierogies, Kielbasa and beet salad.) The whole thing came in nouvelle cuisine layers, the pierogies atop the pancake, the grilled kielbasa split atop that and the beet salad sprinkled over the sausage. At the edge of the square plate were dabs of sour cream, applesauce and mustard like painter's pigments. Well, it was lovely, but this is a peasant meal. I tried the Chicken Kiev, which was well made but I'm going to have to remember that Chicken Kiev tastes insipid by nature to me. After sharing a chocolate blintz for dessert, we all went to Sunrise Mart to get Pocky. I love the fact that Glico makes "Men's Pocky". Of course, that's the one Mary bought. I got Crushed Almond Pocky, not feeling butch enough to handle Men's Pocky.
Update: Here's Cynthia's picture of the Nouvelle Kielbasa.
Posted by Leigh Witchel at March 26, 2005 11:20 PM
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Here's a link to my photos of Kiev Nouveau
Posted by: Cynthia at March 27, 2005 8:22 AM
I'll make chicken kiev next time you're in California and come to visit.
It's not insipid at ALL!
Posted by: Grace at March 27, 2005 10:21 PM
I'll take you up on that. If only American would match Independence's fare sale to San Diego!
Posted by: Leigh Witchel at March 27, 2005 11:46 PM
Ah, Pocky. We have some in the kitchen right now.
Posted by: sandi k at March 31, 2005 2:44 PM