Hours: Dinner: Sunday-Monday, Wednesday-Saturday
Open late: Saturday till 3; Sunday-Monday, Thursday-Friday till 2
Latterday incarnation of Continental Cafe, offering contemporary American as well as Romanian specialties--including genial owner Branko Podrumedic's "holy water."
The website for Little Bucharest promises to swing contemporary American, but central European cuisine still rules—even the pan-seared whitefish sports a heavy shake of paprika, and there's a separate Romanian menu. Braised short rib goulash in a tomato-paprika ragout served with garlic mashed potatoes was a great wintertime dish, so tender the meat was falling off the bone. My companion chose another signature item, shrimp wrapped in kataifi, crispy shredded phyllo, with garlic couscous and yogurt-creamed spinach. To cap things off, I picked a hot apple-and-walnut strudel drowning in caramel sauce and ice cream—killer, in both senses of the word. My companion, hankering for the very tall layer cake she remembered from an earlier incarnation of Little Bucharest, got her wish, sort of, in the form of a not-so-tall cake slice with a light chocolate icing. A little dry, perhaps, but she didn't blame Branko Podrumedic, the boss, since he brought it in response to her special request. Indeed, we had jolly visits throughout the meal from Branko, who insists on plying guests with "holy water," a fierce Romanian plum brandy.
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