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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Królewskie Jadło

The other day I was kicking it with King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and that guy from Highlander, and we were trying to figure out where to eat. No one had any bright ideas, so we headed to Krolewskie Jadlo.In English the name means “King's Feast.” Towards this end they keep two knights posted at the door, actual suits-of-armor leaning on long swords. But don't be alarmed; I didn't see any dragons, and once you step inside the interior is quite peaceful. Think “low-key country inn” spruced up by paintings of men with mustaches. FYI, Magnum, P.I. was nowhere to be found. Which makes sense; it's a Polish restaurant, not one of the greatest TV shows ever.I know what you're thinking friend: what about the restaurant? It's a relative newcomer (almost 3 years old), and offers dishes you don't normally see on Polish menus in these parts. If you don't believe me, just check out their website. That's where I discovered that owner-chef Krzysztof Drzewiecki used to cook at Nobu. He also makes a point of distancing himself from the standard “meat, potatoes and cabbage” formula embraced by many of his Greenpoint peers. I personally like meat, potatoes and cabbage; but his stance (let's break some rules!), and the menu's originality, had me intrigued.As for the food itself? Uneven execution, friend, uneven execution. Take the “Polish Platter” (meat, potatoes, cabbage). Nice presentation, generous assortment. But the freshness was suspect. Methinks the stuffed cabbage had been loafing around in the kitchen, maybe grinding “cheetohs” with Britney Spears. And the potato pancakes – while tasty – were a bit bottom-heavy from, I'd guess, too much time spent sitting on the assembly line. On the other hand, the kielbasa was “hot and juicy” (boiiing!), the pirogies crisp and piping. It was a classic case of hot or not.
'tis Trout, no doubt

Same with the trout. A few weeks back we savored the trout at neighborhood oddball Damis, and had equally high hopes for Drzewiecki's whole fish. It is served with an extremely tasty and casually applied (maybe with that sword from out front?) yogurt-herb sauce. But the fish was cooked a few seconds past perfect: not quite medieval, but definitely not au point.
Beef Stroganoff, in edible bowl

How about the beef stroganoff? Krolweskie Jadlo takes pride in their rendition, served in a bread-bowl. When I was younger, I used to think things like “astronaut ice cream” and “remote control VHS cassette recorders” were the real bees-knees. But now gimmicks leave me a bit cold, and (in this case) confused. I was half expecting to be served chowder, like they do at Pier Whatever in San Francisco. (Yawn.) But no, this was definitely all-beef. The last time I ordered this dish in a restaurant was at the old Russian Tea Room, and, well, I remember it tasting a whole lot better. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad... just a bit tangy, like someone mixed in too much tomato paste.
p-doubles, royal style

Not that everything disappointed. Our hand-picked panel of flavorologists enjoyed the bite-sized “King's Potato Pancakes” topped with herbed cream (the trout sauce?) and smoked salmon. I never found out which King eats his pancakes like this, but no matter... he had good taste. This was a classy and, dare I say, sassy combo. And the bite-sized presentation only left me hankering for more.
Duck amuck

Tops on our list? That probably goes to the Roasted Duck, tender slow-cooked legs served with roast apples and potatoes. It was well-conceived and well-executed: simple, elegant, delicious.
Sides with pride: great kraut, beets
yo gee, Pirogies

Which leads me to my gripe. Krolewskie Jadlo's menu is creative and enticing, the atmosphere relaxed and inviting, the service friendly and efficient, the prices more-than-reasonable. But again, the execution is spotty. They certainly do brisk business as is, but I hope they step up their quality control. With greater attention to detail, they'll be ready to get seriously medieval on datazz.

Krolewskie Jadlo
(King's Feast)
694 Manhattan Ave
Greenpoint, Brooklyn 11211

Our favorites: Roast duck legs, cold sauerkraut, the salmon potato things, mustaches



Blogger Chewy said...

They have an $8 prix fixe three course lunch!

1:01 PM  
Blogger J. Slab said...

great call, chewy... forgot to mention that. & if i remember correctly, most of the standard entrees apply. good deal, regardless

3:49 PM  
Blogger Vic said...

This place has the best pierogies in Greepoint in my opinion. Everytime i get them, they are hot, crispy and have great seasoning (esp. the potato cheese ones)!!!!

And for the price you can really have a feast!

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best Polish restaurant in Greenpoint with Christina's a close second! I have family coming from MD, VA, NJ & VT just to eat here.

5:40 PM  

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