Alright guys, so I am super stoked about my new job. And thanks to a tasting yesterday afternoon, I’m even more excited.
This friday, Vostok Dumpling House will be opening on Capitol Hill, right next to Marination Station (on top of the QFC at Pike and Broadway). Vostok will be serving up “soviet inspired dumplings”, which means meat-filled pelmeni and plenty of different kinds of vareniki (similar to Polish pierogi). In addition to the food, there will also be a great assortment of bottled and on-tap beers. It’s going to be pretty casual atmosphere-wise, with a few tables inside and a counter for customers to order at. Unlike its neighbor, Vostok will also be staying open late on weekends. Like all good food on the hill, it’s definitely affordable as well–you’ll be able to get very, very full for under $10.
This afternoon, I had the (awesome) opportunity to taste a portion of the menu. And while it could be argued I’m biased, I swear it was all delicious.
We got to try the chicken pelmeni first, with three different sauces. The first was a traditional butter sauce, the second was a lemon herb, and the third was a garlic sauce. They were all pretty good, but my favorite was the garlic (although the lemon was nice and light, which would be ideal if you’re looking for something not quite as heavy). The dumpling itself was really flavorful, too (the chicken is ground fresh in the restaurant).
The next item we got to taste was a sauerkraut vareniki. I love sauerkraut, but even if you don’t, it’s worth trying (the tangy, acidic flavor that sauerkraut can have wasn’t very prevalent). We also tried a potato vareniki; both vareniki came with either sauteed onions or a sauteed onion/bacon combination.
While pelmeni are traditionally meat filled (and will be at Vostok), there will still be plenty of vegetarian options. Both vareniki I had were vegetarian (the bacon is optional, of course). Most of the rotating soups that will be served will also be vegetarian.
Oh yeah, and don’t let me forget about the beer. There’s a full assortment of Russian/Ukrainian/Polish beer, along with two Hale’s Ales options on tap. My personal favorite out of all the options is a mango weizen that’s from Washington (which will be on tap). Seriously, this stuff was delicious– perfect for a sunny day. If you’re looking for something a bit more unusual, Vostok will be carrying 1-9 of the Baltika beers. I had a chance to give them all a try, and my favorites are 7 (a pale lager that’s one of their most popular) and 4 (a darker lager that’s considered the ‘original’). Overall, the alcohol assortment is something different than the standard selection elsewhere on the hill, and there’s a beer for everyone’s taste preferences. (In addition to beer, Vostok will also have a variety of smaller-brand sodas.)
Overall, I think Vostok’s going to be a great addition to the neighborhood, whether it’s for the lunch or late-night crowd. It’s portable, tasty, and something unique. The menu will also be tailored to the season– summer will mean featuring a blueberry ginger sweet vareniki, for example. For opening weekend, customers can enjoy all bottled beers and pints for $4, along with the full assortment of dumplings and borscht.