Veselka Variety

On Each trip to NYC I check out a new cuisine.

Tonight we are doing Ukrainian. Situated in the East Village, this is the sort of place I like. Unassuming.

Starting with borscht.

Next, Varenyky.


Beet and Horseradish salad.



Small blueberry thingy.

At the end…


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Nice, Father! It evokes the fantastic meal I had earlier today at a Polish restaurant.

  2. Maltese says:

    Your pictures salivate me!

  3. dirtycopper says:

    Bigos, the ultimate comfort food. But be cautioned, never make it at home. The recipe reads like a do it yourself manual from the Hemlock Society. However, worth every extra minute you have to spend on the treadmill.

  4. Consilio et Impetu says:

    Everything looks delicious. What did they call the dumplings the Polish would call pierogies? I know the Ukranians call them something else. If you are ever in the Philadelphia area the women at the Ukranian Catholic Cathedral of of Immaculate Conception (Franklin and Brown Streets) make them home made. ( I believe that’s on Thursdays.) If you make it to Port Richmond in Philadelphia, besides the three beautiful Churches along Allegheny Avenue you may want to tour, you can try the Polish cuisine at several eateries nearby. No, I am not Polish nor Ukranian but I do love the food. I am Irish. While a Cardinal, Pope John Paul II preached at the Polish Church at Thompson Street and Allegheny Avenue during the 1976 International Eucharistic Congress. Make it a pilgrimage.

  5. JKnott says:

    Beer here?
    So you never told us if it was the Manhattan or the Martini.

  6. Mark R says:

    Oh my goodness! That is a difficult cuisine aroung which to craft a restaurant. Everything has to be fresh…you can’t just marinate meat and let it sit like the Greeks.

  7. Sliwka says:

    Consilio, most early 1900’s immigrants I know and their families call perogie (already plural) pyrohy (the y as in “hit”). In Ukraine now it refers to more of a pie type dish, and they call the dumplings varenyky (again, both already plural). Father’s pyrohy were deep fried; not my favourite, but still good.

    Fr, thank you for posting the kutia, it is one of my favourites. Anything with wheat berries really.

  8. The Egyptian says:

    beet and horseradish, Huh, sounds interesting

    I love horseradish on pork and some beef dishes, was the horseradish in the salad hot and pronounced or mild, just curious, sounds hot to me. The best horseradish really clears the sinuses, great on sausage.

    Food looks very appetizing

  9. Rob Cartusciello says:

    I’m glad to hear you’ve discovered Veselka. I have fond memories of it from my time at NYU.

    I trust you will make it over to Katz’s Deli at some point during your trip. There is no equal.

  10. lucy says:

    It is finished.

  11. Mamma B says:

    The dumplings, which were probably filled with potatoes, are called vareneky. The kutia is more typically associated with Sviat Vechir (Christmas) Eve rather than Velikden (Easter.) And the tsvikly (beet & horseradish relish) varies in taste depending on the maker; it also contains vinegar, sugar and sometimes caraway seeds.

  12. frjim4321 says:

    Oh my. That all looks GREAT.

  13. Warmiaczka says:

    Oh, Bigos the Great, thou art unique! (Especially the smell…)
    Bigos has got its well deserved place in one of the chapters of Polish epic poem called “Pan Tadeusz”:

    In the pots warmed the bigos; mere words cannot tell
    Of its wondrous taste, colour and marvellous smell.
    One can hear the words buzz, and the rhymes ebb and flow,
    But its content no city digestion can know.
    To appreciate the Lithuanian folksong and folk food,
    You need health, live on land, and be back from the wood.

    Without these, still a dish of no mediocre worth
    Is bigos, made from legumes, best grown in the earth;
    Pickled cabbage comes foremost, and properly chopped,
    Which itself, is the saying, will in ones mouth hop;
    In the boiler enclosed, with its moist bosom shields
    Choicest morsels of meat raised on greenest of fields;
    Then it simmers, till fire has extracted each drop
    Of live juice, and the liquid boils over the top,
    And the heady aroma wafts gently afar.

    — Adam Mickiewicz, Pan Tadeusz, Book 4: Diplomacy and Hunt
    Translated by Marcel Weyland [ I copied this translation from Wikipedia]

    We had to analyze and discuss the above description in literature classes -unfortunately, without culinary props ;-)

  14. APX says:

    All the Ukrainians here I know call them perogies. Even the family Ukrainian perogie restaurants call them perogies.

  15. Harold says:

    Veselka is a great restaurant and I have not been in some time. Thanks for posting this.

  16. Cazienza says:

    That all looks very scrummy.

  17. Grabski says:

    Bigos? It must be a Western Ukraine place. Far far west (haha)

  18. Grabski says:

    Bigos? Perhaps a Western Ukraine cuisine?

  19. Kerry says:

    I see the borscht, but you’ve said nothing about the ale…

  20. Patti Day says:

    Oooh Father, me likey, especially the blueberry thingy at the end.

  21. MattW says:

    Grabski, I agree. So far west we call it “Poland.”


  22. Art says:

    I’ve got to visit this place the next time I go visit NY, everything looks so tasty! Since you are into trying new cuisine, there is this place called Xi’an Famous Foods that serves food from the northwest region of China, resembling a fusion of Chinese and Middle Eastern cuisine.

  23. Dr. Eric says:

    Father, have you tried a Divine Liturgy at a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church?

    Khrystos Voskres!

    Voistynu Voskres!

  24. irishgirl says:

    Food looks good, Father Z!
    My stomach is growling already!
    You findthe coolest places to ‘nosh’ in when you go to NYC!
    Now you have to come to Upstate NY-we have some interesting restaurants and cuisine up here, too!

  25. jkking says:

    I love Veselka!! Awesome!

  26. donmar35 says:

    Veselka is awesome. I found it when my niece was going to NYU. A great place for a cheap breakfast too. They also sell a cookbook.

  27. Mark R says:

    Folks, there is also something called “Royal Bigos” in Poland. It takes a few days to cook and has more ingredients. Inticing?

  28. green fiddler says:

    This post triggered happy memories for me! Years ago I had the privilege of partaking in some family celebrations at the home of a Ukrainian friend. I remember everyone singing “Mno Hya Lita” and eating all that wonderful food, lovingly prepared for us by her dear Mom. (I still dream about those potato dumplings – they were the best.) One year the family adopted me for Easter Sunday; it was so nice to be the recipient of their kindness and to share in their beautiful customs.

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