Having recently spent nearly five weeks traveling about the Balkans I found there was a similarity in the respective countries cuisines, but also found that each Balkan country had a certain dish which they took special pride in . . . such was the case with Serbia, and this is presented as such at Kafana, a charming and lively Serbian restaurant located on Avenue C between 7-8th Street.
Kafana in Serbian means "where people gather for food and drink" was certainly appropriate as the restaurant hummed with a wide range of people which included a good portion of Serbian being spoken. Serbian's by nature are high-spirited and gregarious and you could feel this energy coming through under the piped in Balkan music.
Of the appetizers, I was tempted by the "Dimljena pastrmks" (smoked trout), but instead went with the "Gibanica" a cheese pie with phyllo pastry with feta cheese, it was similar to a burek (which is eaten all over the Balkans) but more plump and juicy. For the entree the menu included the Serbian traditional dishes, including, "Karadjordjeva "(pan seared schnitzel rolled with kajmak cheese) and "Janjeca kapama" (lamb and spinach stew). I decided on this dish and it was extremely flavorful. Especially good with the outstanding home-made bread the make.
With the good food, is an extensive wine list with almost all from the Balkan countries. At least 35 white wines and 50 red wines. All the Balkan countries represented, though Croatia and Slovania dominate. Serbia most famous beer Jelen Pivo is served as well. With the attractive white brick interior, the restaurant also has an outside deck for dining, perfect on a warm summers evening. Please note restaurant is CASH only.
Address - 116 Avenue C (7th -8th St) (212) 353 - 8000
Serbian language - "Hello" (zdrah-voh) "Thank you" (hvah-lah)
Serbia interesting fact - Close to 95% of world's top quality raspberries come from Serbia.