Tuesday’s Treats #122

Culinary Studio Kryva Lypa

Location: Lviv, Ukraine

This place is absolutely the coolest, and the food is amazing! If you are in Lviv, you’ve got to find it, and to find it, you might have to search just a little bit. It’s “hidden away” in one of their many courtyards off from the Main Street, and you have to walk through a little “tunnel,” of sorts to get there. However, it’s not crazy difficult. I just put the address in my gps, and paid attention to my surroundings and found it easy enough. When you go through the “tunnel,” there will be a lounge that looks to be underground (I’m sorry. I do not remember the name, but it’s cool looking with it’s lights and entrance.), and there’s an ice cream shop on the right before you walk out of the tunnel. Then, it opens up to the great big courtyard with lots of restaurants, one of which is Lviv Croissants. That’s supposed to be crazy good and popular; so, maybe these directions will help you find your way. It’s well worth the search!

The atmosphere is amazing, and the staff is gracious, even to Americans who don’t speak a lick of Ukrainian! It’s not a very big place, but there’s plenty of room for moderate size parties, and it’s got so much character packed into such a smaller venue.

The food was absolutely amazing. We started with the cheese plate. It had 3 different types of cheese, grapes, and we had them bring us a basket of bread with it. Yum!

For our meal, we ordered the salmon filet, beef filet and homestyle fried potatoes. Both of these are in pictures on the menu, which they do have in English, if you need it. I was a little hesitant of the blueberry sauce they use on the beef, but no worries needed; it was absolutely delicious and so tender! I’m not sure exactly what the starch was on the side, maybe quinoa, but it wasn’t as grainy. It tasted pretty good with the blueberry sauce. My husband said the salmon was some of the best he’s ever had, and those potatoes were to die for!! We got cappuccinos at the end, and that was scrumptious as well. This will definitely be on our repeat list for our return visits to Lviv!

Here’s their website for menu and location information. At the top, you can choose several different languages for translations. 😉

Advertisements

Tuesday’s Treats #105

Tsarske Selo

Location: Kiev, Ukraine

This restaurant is so authentic to Ukraine, and if you are visiting Kiev, you need to place it on your “must see (and eat).” The atmosphere is set in rural country inn or home, and as you sit at your table looking throughout the restaurant, you can almost imagine being in someone’s countryside home. It is very cozy and comfortable. The waiters and waitresses are all in traditional Ukrainian attire, and most evenings, there are a variety of singing groups who will come to your table and serenade a song or two.

The food is delicious, and if you can’t read the Ukrainian on the menu, no worries. Just flip it over for English; however, not being too familiar with authentic Ukrainian dishes, I opted to be safe and got the chicken Kiev. It was absolutely delicious! The lattes are tasty, and one in our party got the cherry dumplings and said they were scrumptious. The bread they serve before hand is tasty, but if you’re American, you may be surprised they don’t serve traditional dairy butter with it. They serve a beet horseradish, a very spicy mustard and a “butter” made from pig fat. This is, actually, a staple of Ukraine that came into play during their long years of famine. It is a little too greasy and not too tasteful for my liking, more akin to pure lard, but for the Ukrainian natives who were hosting us, it was an appreciated topping. They also serve before the meal small, square pieces of toasted bread with a pickle and a little square of pig fat (kind of like a substitute for bacon). The bread was tasty with a hint of garlic, but I skipped again on the fat square. It all definitely adds to the authenticity of the restaurant, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

In the evening hours, a groups of Ukrainian singers will come to serenade, and apparently, there are different groups. My husband was here in September, and there was a group of all men who sang traditional Ukrainian songs, and one man whistles like a bird. I watched the video, and it was amazing! The night we were there, it was a duet. The woman played the accordion and sang, and the man had a deep, burly voice and distinguished mustache. They sang strong and beautiful, singing of a handsome fella loving a beautiful woman.

It was simply a delightful evening, and I hope every time we are in Kiev, we might get to visit this restaurant. You leave feeling just a little more Ukrainian than when you walked in.

For more information, please check out their website and their Trip Advisor rating.