Posts Tagged Cafe Adriatic

Balkan Bonanza – Part 2: Živeli!

4 April 2011

Ivica and I enjoyed our conversation about Montenegro and the upgrades to Café Adriatic’s terrace, and he gestured to Tanja. “Pour him a glass of slivovitz… Yes, go ahead.” Tanja suggested the Markovic Estates slivovitz, which she said was the most popular. I contemplated my first shot of the evening.

In my family, slivovitz, a plum brandy, was usually referred to in a joke, as a sort of archetypal bad liquor. It’s a shame, because slivovitz is actually quite pleasant, if quite strong. I sipped the brandy, expecting some significant burn from the 45% alcohol content. It felt surprisingly smooth, however, and went down with ease. I sipped again, enjoying the lightly plummy flavor and aroma of almonds.

Suddenly, dessert didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Especially when one of the choices is crepes with “Eurocream and Plasma.” It sounded like the unfortunate result of some sort of Balkan blood-bank orgy. I had to have it.

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Balkan Bonanza – Part 1

3 April 2011

My favorite small wine shop, In Fine Spirits, delighted me once again this week. In response to my question, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve got right now,” the clerk thought a moment, and I could veritably see the light bulb above his head suddenly burst into incandescence.

“I know! Here – this is called Vranac, and it’s from Serbia.” How magnificent — I had never tasted the variety, nor any wine at all from Serbia, and it cost only $12. I purchased the Vranac, and decided it would be most fun to share my discovery with a Serbian friend or two.

A quick scan of the contacts in my cell phone reminded me that, unfortunately, I have no Serbian friends. Determined to rectify the situation, I took the bottle to the nearby Café Adriatic (5553 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773-828-8889), an attractive if relatively unpopular Balkan restaurant up the street. I’ve yet to see the restaurant more than 1/3 full, and this evening was no exception. It was just what I was hoping for.

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