January 9, 2013

HB Eats: Feel At Home at Doma Na Rahu

Looking for a delicious meal to start off 2013? I highly recommend heading to Doma Na Rohu.  The words “doma na rohu” mean “at home on the corner” in Czech, and that is exactly how you will feel in this cozy West Village restaurant and bar. Husband and wife team Michael and Evelyn Polesny opened the rustic, yet upscale Austro-Hungarian eatery in April of last year, and while the location is fairly new, the history behind Doma spans generations. The passionate owners have years of experience working in the restaurant industry, and bring with them culinary knowledge and family recipes lovingly passed down over time.
Serving up Doma's traditional plates with modern flare is Chef Jake Eberle, formerly of the Lamb’s Club.  Jake gave me the scoop on his kitchen offerings, with its delightful range of breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch options.  The restaurant also hosts a popular monthly pig roast, special neighborhood nights, and has a new late-night bar menu.  I have to admit that I was a little unsure of exactly what qualified as Austro-Hungarian food before my first visit last weekend.  Over the course of the evening I sampled a variety of dishes, all of which were delicious.   

The meal started out with a light kohlrabi salad with fresh croutons, brussel sprouts, and radishes followed by a Fisherman’s Stew made up of shrimp, mussels, and flounder.  The seafood melted in my mouth, as did the foie grois terrine with spiced walnuts, which came next.    

One of my favorite bites of the night was definitely the butternut squash spaetzle topped with fried sage leaves, which achieved a perfect balance of delicate buttery pasta and sweet squash.  I have tried spaetzle before, but none of that quality.  I finished off the main dishes with perfectly cooked duck and red cabbage served with Serviettenknödel (bread dumplings).  Jake shared with me that he infused the dumplings with a light cream to enhance the flavor and moistness.  For dessert I devoured the sachertorte, which was a rich and airy chocolate torte made of chocolate cake with apricot and chocolate icing, served with just enough whipped cream.  

I was blown away by my meal at Doma.  I even ordered a warm Bavarian pretzel to go because I just couldn't get enough. Not only were the food and beer great, but the owners and servers were very friendly, and the atmosphere was welcoming and homey.  These are qualities that I cherish in a restaurant, especially in Manhattan.  I have to thank the whole Doma Na Rohu crew for making my first restaurant experience of the year a truly memorable one!

Doma Na Rahu, 27 1/2 Morton Street, New York, NY

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