After Ibrik Café, Ecaterina Paraschiv recently opened Ibrik Kitchen, a restaurant that gives pride of place to the Balkans, and more specifically the little-known cuisine of Romania – a tad more “grassroots” perhaps, but by no means lacking in appeal. A cuisine of identity, one might say, featuring recipes from the Northern Balkans with a modern touch. The menu boasts new flavors with pastrama (brined beef with black Romanian truffle, €13), the “cheesus-christ” (braised polenta stuffed with cheese and crème fraiche, €11), cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and creamy polenta (€20), or Bohemian chicken goulash with mashed potatoes (€20). Hearty eaters will love tackling the gargantuan meat-lover’s feast (€79 for two) with a mix of grilled marinated meats such as lamb cutlets, mititei (a type of Romanian ground meat roll) and bone marrow. A truly opulent dish that will leave you little room for pistachio cake (€9), the restaurant’s signature dessert with lemon and rose-colored icing. This is ethnic – almost peasant – fare, but prepared to French gastronomy standards with rigorously selected ingredients. The primarily natural wines have been sourced from all over Eastern Europe, from Hungary to Slovenia and Greece, with a handful of French wines nonetheless. Stephen Martin’s cocktails, some made with spirits from the Balkans like Mastika or vodka infused with caviar, add to the novel dining experience. Lunch specials at €13 and €15. Sunday brunch at €32.
Noon to 2:30pm and 7:30pm to 10:30pm
Closed Sunday for dinner and Monday
Average price: €45