Pekárna is a Serbo-Croatian phrase for “bakery,” so it’s a bit puzzling as to why Dean O’Neill (an avionics professional by commerce) gave his pleasant new restaurant on the Higher West Facet the identify when he describes the place as a “New American” restaurant, cocktail and occasion venue. There’s not a bakery on the premises, however there are a number of Slovenian dishes to make Pekarna New York distinctive from most any restaurant within the neighborhood. Which is even odder since O’Neill is from Australia and Chef Kamal Hoyt, previously at Ocean and Daniel, from the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. For some purpose, it additionally clicks.
The enterprise jogs my memory, then, of the episode in Seinfeld when Jerry undertakes to advise Pakistani restaurateur Babhu Bhat to cease serving the whole lot from lasagna to roast turkey on his menu and to focus on Pakistani meals. After all, it seems to be a catastrophe as a result of again in 1991 nobody was curious about Pakistani meals. I believe it might very be completely different in the present day, so I urge O’Neill so as to add increasingly more dishes from Slovenia, with whose meals he fell in love. Certainly, he had hoped for an acclaimed Slovenian chef to come back aboard at first, however Covid put the kibosh on that concept for the current.
That mentioned, I used to be as pleased with the non-Slovenian dishes as with these which are, not least a very wonderful pumped-up burger of wagyu beef, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, house-brined cucumber, pickled onions and BBQ sauce on a toasted Kaiser bun topped with a fried onion ring. The appetizer portion of French fries with numerous dipping sauces is irresistible and positively price ordering for the desk.
The 2 rooms are composed of a bar with tables and a eating part, set with Bosnian furnishings and classic glass chandeliers. There are 4 completely different occasion areas downstairs, with the Dragon room that includes a Perrier-Jouët Champagne Bar.
I requested Chef Hoyt to give attention to the Slovenian dishes, so we started with hen croquettes with onion in a wealthy, flavorful hen broth ($8). Others included lamb meatballs with a purple sauce of tomato and spices ($16) and crispy wild boar with rice, mustard and candy chili sauce ($6), and the spices and seasoning evoke their Slovenian provenance. Žepki are fats Slovenian pastries ($7-$8) like pierogi, typical of Jap European pastries and at all times heartwarming. There are 4 slider choices of wagyu beef, hen, mushrooms and salmon ($6-$7), and colourful linguine with cracked pepper, artichoke, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, honey, Parmesan cheese and a spritz of lemon juice tossed on the desk ($22), a lightweight dish with each tang and the sweetness of early autumn.
Amongst a number of delectable entrees, one of the best is the Slovenian-style herb crusted rack of lamb with a lightweight potato soufflé, roasted Brussels sprouts, a carrot cream and a wealthy, darkish discount of Slovenian purple wine ($32).
Many cultures have their model of fried hen, and right here it’s achieved “Island type,” with a splash of Kamal’s spicy Cajun breading, milk, extra scorching sauce, hen and garlic potato mash and served as a thigh ($5) or breast ($7).
Desserts are costly ($15-$18) however massive sufficient to share, so, for positive, order the Slovenian apple pie with vanilla gelato, or the Kremšnita custard cake with a ardour fruit glaze.
Kudos for Pekarna in itemizing a number of spectacular Slovenian wines now available in the market, together with Sauvignon Blanc 2018; Brutus 2016, Primorje Brda; and Marjan Simčic ̌“Selecija” Pinot Noir Goriska Brda.
So, whereas Pekarna is an effective stability of American, Caribbean and Slovenian meals cultures, I believe that numerous potential clientele shall be most within the final. However by all means order the French fries.
PEKARNA NEW YORK
954 Amsterdam Avenue
Open every day for dinner; Sat. & Solar. for brunch.