You might have stopped in European Specialties, a specialty import store in Westvale Plaza to pick up some kielbasa, liverwurst or crusty rye bread. Kava European Bistro, an extension of the shop, opened in plaza in the fall. It’s official “grand opening” was Saturday, March 8.
Kava Cafe, two doors down from European Specialties, is also owned and operated by members of the Gerasimovich family. It features a mix of savory and sweet Ukrainian foods, some American favorites and coffee and espresso drinks featuring beans from local roaster Cafe Kubal.
The Ukrainian side of the menu features potato pancakes, five kinds of pierogies, blintzes (a sort of crepe stuffed with cheese and/ or vegetables), borscht (the classic crimson soup, made with beets and cabbage and served with sour cream on the side, to swirl in), golumbki (cabbage rolls stuffed with beef, onion and carrots) and pelmeni (Russian dumplings, made with veal or chicken).
Go with a friend or two and sample a variety of Ukrainian fare. Enjoy a cup or bowl of borscht and share a plate of pierogies (six pieces), potato pancakes (five to an order) or golumbki (three pieces). Ukrainian food is hearty. You won’t go home hungry.
The cafe features just eight tables and is open for breakfast, lunch and early supper. To go with your morning coffee, you’ll find bagels, breakfast sandwiches and croissants. In addition to Ukrainian fare, the menu offers deli sandwiches and panini. Everything on the menu is available for take-out.
The treats in the dessert cases are enough to make you drool: Cookies, rugelach and fancy, multi-layer cakes with interesting fillings, like nuts, fruits, jams and custard.
It’s nice to know there’s a place to go on the West Side for a pour-over coffee or cappuccino, or drip coffee and dessert.
It’s also fun to branch out and try some new, ethnic flavors.
Kava European Bistro is at 2204 W. Genesee St., Syracuse, in the Westvale Plaza. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 488-0888 or visit their FACEBOOK PAGE.