With GVSHP’s office located on the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 11th Street, staff are very familiar with Veselka, the Ukrainian restaurant/diner on 2nd Avenue and East 9th Street. (Besides, Veselka was a recipient of a Village Award in 2010, and we love our Village Award winners.) On Wednesday night staff enjoyed a preview of the new restaurant, opening on 1st Street and the Bowery today. So what makes Veselka Bowery different from its namesake on Second Avenue?
Veselka regulars should be familiar with varenyky, the Ukrainian word for pierogi, the mainstay of the Veselka menu. Veselka Bowery ups the Ukrainian-quotient with a menu dedicated to more traditional foods with an upscale restaurant touch. So, what’s new? How about buttered knydli? Knydli are small pastries made from potato dough that are boiled and served with butter. If you are a fan of polenta, you will very much enjoy mamaliga, a porridge traditionally made from yellow corn flour. Veselka Bowery’s version tasted like it also had cheese and plenty of butter! And although there are hamburgers on the menu, they are served on a pampushky roll, a yeast bread often served with borscht. Fans of pierogi do not need to worry though, there are traditional and special varenyky on the menu here as well. And not surprisingly, vodka plays a large roll on the extensive bar menu.
Unfortunately, we can’t help you with the pronunciation of these traditional foods. You’ll have to go yourself to learn how to say them. You’ll have plenty of chances as Veselka Bowery plans to be open 24 hours, just like the original.