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Jul 30, 2004 04:34 PM

kavkaz - kensington/midwood

  • n

Has anyone gone to KavKaz? Its a russian place on Coney Island Ave & 18th. I've read the menu online which is in english, but with lots of words I couldn't translate even with google searches.

Just curious if anyone's tried the food and if it seems possible for a vegetarian to eat there. There's tongue and stuff like that, but if I'm translating correctly it seems like there's veggie stuff too.

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  1. n
    Native Russian Speaker

    Heya there..

    First of all, I haven't been to this restaurant yet, so I really cannot comment on the quality of the food.

    "Kavkaz" is, of course, Russian for Caucasus, and the food (judging by the menu) seems to be a mixture of Georgian and Armenian, with some standard Russian offerings (like the Olivier salad - a version of potato salad, usually with meat).

    Anyway, here are some words I suppose you had difficulty with -

    basturma = air-dried beef (pastrami is a related word)
    Eggplate sote = sauteed eggplant. I assume vegetarian
    Lobio = a bean dish.. with spices, herbs, often walnuts. Delicious (one of my favorites) and virtually always vegetarian
    salad olive = I assume salad olivier, misspelled
    marinated papper = it's either pepper or paper
    salad "ogorod" = ogorod is "veg. garden" in Russian. Must be vegetarian (unless they drown in it mayonnaise - be sure to ask)

    kharcho - Georgian beef soup
    kyufta - Armenian lamb soup
    solyanka - Russian meat soup (with pickles and brine)
    Doshbara is a meat-based broth with meat-stuffed dumplings.

    Some items are just baffling..
    Gyurza is a deadly poisonous snake. I'm not aware of any dishes of that name..
    Kutabi are chebureki-type pies.. I have no idea what "kutabi with earls" means
    Mutton eggs with potatoes = "mutton eggs" refers to testicles

    Hinkali are Georgian ravioli-type meat dumplings

    Zhulien = chicken and mushrooms stewed in sour cream

    Lisichki with potatoes = "lisichki" are chanterelle mushrooms

    "Lyulya-kebab" is ground meat kebab

    But this is definitely not a vegetarian-friendly place. Virtually all the dishes are meat-centered.

    1. So, any reports? One of the best Brighton Beach restaurants of the early '80 was called Kavkaz (I think they spelled it Kaukas on the sign). I doubt there's any relation to that restaurant, but who knows.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Peter Cherches

        Peter: Just to point out that the above posts were made almost 3 years ago. I checked the web link and the place still has the menu on line so I assume it's still there. Sounds like we'll have to try it & make our own report. Anyone interested, e-mail me... I feel a mid-week CH dinner coming up soon.

      2. I'm intrigued -- and a little scared. Thanks for the translations, NRS.

        1. I was there for a banquet meal two years ago with some of my husband's Azeri relatives. The food was quite good - especially the kutabi. They had two different kinds, one lamb with pomegranate seeds and the other green herbs with yogurt sauce.

          The chef at that time was some sort of mythic figue with some Byzantine provenance of having been at several other popular Azeri hangouts in south Brooklyn. No idea if he is still there.

          To the original poster's questions about vegetarians and kavkaz food, well... A careful and lucky Russian-speaking (and probably fish-eating) vegetarian might conceivably manage a meal at Kavkaz composed of salads and fish dishes - baffling, I might mention, the staff entirely as kavkazi people are meat meat meat eaters. These restaurant usually have some "salmon with pomegranate molasses" dish hanging around the menu, although the quality of the fish varies.