It’s hard to knock the French or the Italians for their culinary contributions, but come winter, hearty fare from the frostier regions of Poland, Russia and beyond is what you need to keep you warm. Here, Montreal’s best Eastern European restaurants.
La Caverne serves Russian soul food, with music livening up its cozy, rustic confines on weekends. For starters, try the handmade “cheese boat” – a doughy, eggy, three-cheese creation – followed by the beef stroganoff. Mains, $10–$19. 5184A Côte des Neiges Rd., 514-738-6555.
Though it feels like a family restaurant, Ermitage’s epic, eclectic menu feels positively grand. For a pan-Eastern European experience, sample spicy kharcho soup (Georgia), Kishinev braised beef with mushrooms au gratin (Moldova) and a slice of Napoleon cake (Russia). Mains, $14.75–$35. 5001 Queen Mary Rd., 514-735-3886.
What Cracovie lacks in style, it offers in substance: Try the mushroom and sauerkraut pierogies, or the bigos, aka hunter’s stew, with sauerkraut, sausage chunks and veggies. Mains, $8.95–$21.75. 5349 Gatineau Ave., 514-731-3388.
Montreal’s only Hungarian joint goes beyond goulash with lesco stew (chicken, veggies, gnocchi) or the fatanyeros platter (grilled meats and more). Save room for dessert. Mains, $10.75–$32. 1650 Lincoln Ave., 514-938-2121.
This Slovak-run, pan-European downtown hideaway offers pizza, but the real stars are the veal schnitzel and the cabbage rolls. For a hearty meal at a slim price, hit up the midday table d’hôte. Mains, $10–$15. 1620 Sherbrooke St. W., 514-933-8866.
Image courtesy of jonas_k.