kavkaz (kavkaze / kavkazi) food in kensington/ditmas/midwood?
has anyone tried the kavkaze spots on ditmas near mcdonald ave? (one had a star of david, an american flag, and a flag i didn't recognize in the window.) what's kavkaz(i/e) cuisine like? where are some good places to sample it?
I'm not anywhere close to being an expert, but I think "kavkaz" is the Russian word for the Caucasus region (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, parts of Russia). Not positive though... could somebody with better Russian skills verify?
Kavkaz Restaurant looks like a great spot, and I'll try to get out there to try it. I'm a huge fan of Caucasian food, but it's tough to tell where, exactly, the owners of Kavkaz are from. If I had to guess, I would think that the food is Azerbaijani, but that's just based on a small handful of dishes that I recognize as specifically Azerbaijani (dovga, kutabi). Georgian food is also amazing--many Russians (including most of my Russian relatives) will tell you that Georgian cuisine is the best chow in the former Soviet Union.
There's another Azerbaijani place in Sheepshead Bay called Caucasus Garden, and I thought the food was great. They serve lots of grilled meats, as you would find in any Persian or Central Asian place, and a fantastic lamb shank, stewed in olives and sweet peppers. The bread is also ridiculously good--it's pretty similar to the lepeshka that you'll find in the Rego Park Bukharan places. The restaurant also serves a mean kutab (Caucasian crepes stuffed with meat or spinach) and several regional variations on pelmeni (ravoili-like dumplings, known as kurza or mantei, depending on where you are in central Asia).
For my taste, the most interesting dish at Caucasus Garden is the dovga, an oddly fizzy cold yogurt soup made from dill, mint, rice, and spinach. After I tried it, I found a recipe online that included this magnificent line: "In order to make dovga, beat up sour clotted milk with sour cream and flour, add egg and rice. To prevent the sour clotted milk from decomposing, all the mass should be continuously stirred." Mmm, sour clotted milk! Seriously, though: it was pretty good.
If you're feeling really adventurous, Caucasus Garden apparently specializes in lamb fries. Our friendly waitress kept urging us to try the chiz-biz: lamb kidney, liver, heart, and testicles, fried with onions. I'm a wuss, and didn't go there.
And Caucasus Garden is BYOB, and has a great patio in back. Prices are pretty reasonable, too. (A long-winded rant about the place can be found here if this wasn't already long-winded enough: http://bit.ly/st7gmm.)
2715 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11229
943 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11230
Kavkaze food is from the Caucasus region? (e.g., Chechnya, Georgia, Azerbaijan?)
The menu looks great -- similar to the Bukharian places in Rego Park, but yet different.
Don't you mean Caucasian food?--Food of the Caucasus. I once ate at a Georgian restaurant in Poland about 15 years ago. A dessert sticks in my mind. A longish, actually phalic-looking thing, that was thickened grape juice with some nuts in it, and thickened with corn starch. Not bad actually. Other than that, I remember it as being something like Greek food (in very general terms).
Here are links from some of my reviews of Cafe Sim Sim from a couple of years back plus another recent review of Old Baku from someone else. I've also been to Kavkaz on CIA but found the creepy atmosphere so off-putting that I never went back. I haven't been to Sim Sim since having a baby 18 months ago but after re-reading these old reviews, I think we'll be ordering take-out soon, probably checking out the other spots also.
Restarting this old thread to report an exceptionally unpleasant experience at the new location of Kavkaz (Coney Island Ave. between Webster and Newkirk). The experience is essentially a massive upsell and a "service charge" that is not a tip that appears on the check. To make a very long story short, we ate at Kavkaz for the first time this evening, having passed it with curiosity many times. We were greeted and served by a very pleasant young man and asked for his assistance with ordering. We ordered a salad and an appetizer. He then offered us a fish kebab, explaining that the kebab would include three different fish. The starters were wonderful. The kebab was essentially six large slabs of fish that had been grilled, served with buckwheat and a pomegranate sauce. We really didn't care much for the kebabs and found the portion size immense. That should have been our first clue. When the check arrived, we found we had been charged for three fish main courses, a total of $60. In addition, beneath the total and tax was a "service charge" of $8.90. When asked what this represented, our server told us it was for his boss and was NOT a tip. When we told him we were unaccustomed to a service charge in a restaurant, he googled the words "service charge in restaurant" and showed me his smart phone. Recognizing this was not a battle I cared to continue, I paid the check.
So, a classic caveat emptor situation, combined with a hidden additional charge makes a return visit to Kavkaz completely unlikely. Have others had a similar experience here or at other Russian restaurants along Coney Island Ave. or nearby neighborhoods? Am I completely missing a cultural norm?