Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Fried Cheese Goodness Never Gets Old at Koliba
Last week was totally fun, as it was the very first meeting of the Astoria Sailing Society (previously known as Queen Supper Club), headed up by my friend Anne. As you can tell by my posts, I always look forward to these events since they bring together very diverse individuals that have some pretty interesting opinions about food (and life) and it always makes for fun conversations.
I helped to put together this first send-off dinner at Koliba, where I felt right at home, and what better way to start things off than to introduce this group to the wonderful world of Slovak and Czech food. We had a great time, as I enjoyed showing my friends the wonders of an almost all-carb meal. My mom came along as well and was totally in her element, chatting with everyone and showing our native food some much deserved r-e-s-p-e-c-t. I hope I see some of you at our next dinner! In the meantime, here's a little highlight of last week's feast.
Fried Cheese with Ham - When people originally saw this on the menu, they didn't know what made it so Slovak - and I don't blame them, as it's hard to understand its uniqueness just by the simple description. My mom and I clarified for our fellow dining guests that the cheese was laced with ham and was coupled with a thick homemade tartar sauce that makes this a true Slovak peasant dish. It's something you'd have in a chata (cottage) while on a skiing trip in Slovakia, along with a tall glass of pilsner.
Last week's version was fabulously rich, stringy and the tartar sauce was plentiful. I like the simple side of herbed potatoes that totally remind me of something my parents would make. A few raw veggies such as cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers fully completed this rustic dish and I heard a lot of my friends mention how impressive it was. I couldn't agree more - it just sent it back in time.
Homemade Apple Strudel - Although I don't typically get that excited about a strudel, this one was made in-house and it was fabulous. The apple filling was soft and cinnamony, but not too sweet. I like that the outside shell was still soft and easy to eat, unlike a lot of strudels that can sometimes be hard to bite into because of the too hard exterior. My mom was really into it too, which is always a winning sign in my book.
Service and Cost:
The service was quite intimate and although our servers were very sweet, we had to remind them a few times about simple things (water glasses, bread, etc). While we could've gotten annoyed, they handled themselves so nicely that we totally let it go and just enjoyed ourselves.
The highlight for me was hearing Koliba's owner, Jirina tell us about her experience with The Cooking Channel last year (my parents and I were there to tell the tale too). We had a few laughs and enjoyed speaking in such a nice, open way. I especially loved hearing about Jirina's other Astoria restaurant favorites (i.e. Kyclades, Watawa and the sadly now gone, 718).
Costs are really wallet friendly and we were able to work out a 3-course family-style prix-fixe for $20/person sans tax and tip.
3 Nostalgic Mmmms
Koliba - 31-11 23rd Avenue, Astoria, NY 11105
N/Q Train to Ditmars
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