• Sunday, August 9, 2020

Restaurant in Museum

Veronika - In a Perogi State of Mind
April 8, 2020
By , Writer

One of the restaurants we are dreaming of, when NYC comes alive again. Veronika - put it on your post-pandemic list.  

Good for: Dinner only (for now). Date nights, special occasions, small groups.

Atmosphere

Walk into Veronika during daylight hours and you'll find yourself in an opulent dining room illuminated by evening light streaming through beautifully preserved stained-glass windows. The space screams elegance with its high ceiling and brass chandeliers. It’s grand, romantic, and an instant classic. 

The interior summons a bit of déjà vue, reminding you of NYC French staples Le Coucou or La Mercerie and for good reason. The design has been carefully crafted by Roman and Williams, in collaboration with restaurateur Stephen Starr, the same team behind those famously romantic NYC establishments. Similar to Le Coucou, Veronika is one of the few restaurants in town where you will hope your table is not ready upon arrival so you can linger at its gorgeous lobby bar.

Why we like it

Beyond the space being an absolute beauty, the service at Veronika is attentive and polite, but not overly serious or stuffy. The dishes are served in lovely ornate gold plates that evoke Viennese or Budapest grand cafes. The menu is an ode to Eastern European cuisine (with a French touch), filled with dishes like coulibiac de saumon, chicken Kiev, lamb goulash, and pierogi.     

What to order

The poppyseed milk bread, baked on order, is served warm with cultured butter and dill oil. To start, enjoy some oysters Vladimir served Rockefeller style with herb creme, toasted rye crumbs, and pickled shallots, and pierogi, filled with the smoothest potato purée, and paired with sour cream and caviar. To continue, order the Soufflé Suissese, a light egg white soufflé juxtaposed in a decadent mornay sauce that is smooth and divine. Share it and try to save some of that poppyseed bread to soak up the cheesy sauce. Follow with the black cod, a superior execution of a classic menu item, accompanied by beurre blanc and charred caraflex cabbage, or with the coulibiac de saumon, beautifully presented with mushroom duxelles, lemon rice and trout roe. Feeling healthy? The salade composée is far more than just a “feel good” side. It will most likely steal the show due to the freshness of its market greens and delicately balanced champagne vinaigrette.

Nothing is ever perfect

To be clear, we absolutely loved it, highly recommend it, and can’t wait to go back, but:  

The only elevator operating for both the restaurant and museum exhibitions will likely have long lines and take some time. You will have to wait in line even if you have a table reservation on the second floor and are not visiting the exhibitions. That sort of entrance doesn’t do justice to such a sumptuous dining experience.

We treated ourselves to an impressive Russian ten layer Medovik cake, which was fluffy and well balanced on the sweet notes, but although certainly good, it was not finger licking. Skip dessert and try another stunning appetizer instead. Perhaps we just need to go back and sample all the desserts before discarding them completely, but this was the only course where we didn’t scrape the plate.