Steak and french fries are what's on the menu in Kyiv’s new restaurant L’Entrecote.
Editor’s Note: Eating out in Ukraine is a gamble. To bring you honest
food reviews, Kyiv Post writers go to restaurants unannounced, pay for
their own meals and never accept favors from restaurateurs.
Do you know that feeling when you're handed a menu with pages and pages of stuff, making it agonizing to read and nearly impossible to make a choice?
Those are long gone in modern restaurants in Europe, where menus these days tend to be simple and short, and change rather frequently.
L'Entrecote, a new Kyiv restaurant, takes care of the problem in a rather unusual way. It only has one option, and if you know French (or anything about food), the name of the restaurant gives a pretty good clue.
Entrecote, or steak, is what customers are served here, accompanied with a special sauce and French fries.
Single dish joints are a new trend in America. More specifically, in New York. And now, Kyiv has one of its own, on Baseyna Street.
If you feel like an entrecote, don't bother calling for reservations. The restaurant does not do reservations. You will be assured that there are plenty of tables, and it turns out to be true.
The roof terrace, where smoking is allowed, was completely empty on the day Kyiv Post visited. Solitary clients were scattered around several other rooms, located on the first floor and in the basement.
A good choice of seating is one advantage of new restaurants. Do you want to sit by the window? Sure, there are plenty of tables to go.
The neat, modern interior is inviting. It has identical square tables and red wooden chairs to go with them, as well as snug soft seats along the walls.
The neutral walls with inscriptions let the red of the sofas stand out. The inscriptions are in French and in English. You can read the venue's slogan on the wall: Smart food for smart people. You will also be told that no choice is a good choice.
It would be a little deceiving to tell the potential customers that there is no choice whatsoever, and that all you get is entrecote. You do get the menu, laid out on the large sheet of paper that also serves as the tablecloth.
On it, you will read that the restaurant carries a number of French desserts, and will pick your drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The wine list is specially created to go well with the meat.
Before your steak arrives, you will be offered a starter of fresh baguette with a little mustard to tease your taste buds, and a simple salad of iceberg lettuce with Circassian walnuts, dressed with oil and vinegar.
While you're consuming that, the chef will cook the steak to your liking. Your entrecote and frites dish will be divided in two helpings. The first one will be served up right after the salad.
In the meantime, the second half will be prepared. You will get it as soon as you finish the initial portion.
The beef is of good quality, it melts in the mouth, and the platter is presented simply but well. The sauce is sufficiently piquant and runny. It can easily splash on your jacket while a server puts the steak on the plate right near your face. Unfortunately, we fell a victim to it.
The French fries look brown, but don't taste greasy. They're cooked through, but not dried out.
The combination of baguette starter, salad and main course is called “A smart menu” and goes for Hr 79.
It seems reasonable, like the rest of the prices. Freshly squeezed carrot juice costs Hr 24 and goes nicely with the rest of the meal. A 100 mililiter glass of Italian Sicilia Rosso, goes for Hr 15.
A bottle of Ukrainian red demi-sec Inkerman is Hr 89, while Italian red Ruffino Aziano Chianti Classico is Hr 250.
Desserts are also both reasonable and tasty. The most expensive one on the menu is the chocolate fondant pudding (Hr 36). The staff don't seem to get tired of recommending it. And we tried it as well as the wonderful pistachio ice-cream that goes for Hr 26.
At L'Entrecote, there are no surprises on the menu. But the food they offer is good and reasonable. So, if you don't feel like making choices today, and love meat and fries, it's your kind of place.
Kyiv Post staff writer Denis Rafalsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
5b Baseyna St.
Hours: 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. (weekdays);
11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (weekends)