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Return of an old-time Chicago place - Little Bucharest

Return of an old-time Chicago place - Little Bucharest
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  • Return of an old-time Chicago place - Little Bucharest

    Post #1 - April 18th, 2010, 11:17 pm
    Post #1 - April 18th, 2010, 11:17 pm Post #1 - April 18th, 2010, 11:17 pm
    For years, Little Bucharest beckoned at the corner of Ashland and Wellington, but it always made me feel sad for the disappearance of its cross-street neighbor, the Yugo Inn, where I happily dined on sheep's brain in the innocent 80's, before both Srebrenica and mad cow disease, and I never went in. Eventually Little Bucharest closed, and I could feel sad for the passing of both, though I'd never made it inside the second.

    This morning my fiancee and I were traveling down Elston when I noticed that a nondescript corner north of Addison had become, well, descript. A fountain, a fresh coat of paint, Little Bucharest is back.

    We returned tonight for dinner. It's an elegant interior with nice woodwork, some traditional embroidery on the tables, a bar that traverses the main room while managing to look like it fits in.

    We scanned the menu and queried about the free glass of wine with entrees. From the look on the waitress's face, our guess is that the offer was outdated, but they honored it with a nice glass of a dry Romanian red. We started with an excellent Ciorba (soup) de Borscht and a roasted red pepper salad which the be-ringed woman compared to the spiced, sliced orange dish we made from last week's Times magazine recipe. She continued with vegetarian goulasz. I began smiling at her and laughing late in the meal, not wanting to spoil the joke by letting her in on it. She had cornered the last couple bites with her fork, pushing the couscous together. I had always assumed it was a religious thing - her habit of never cleaning her plate - a sort of daily leaving for Elijah or something, but her actions were speaking -- she was going to finish! I think she liked it.

    I had Sarmaluta - cabbage stuffed with several kinds of meat with a light overlay of tomato sauce , on a bed of polenta. I didn't leave any either. We'd love to report on the desserts -they looked very good. But we were just too full to keep going.

    The one down note was the pre-recorded music accompanying the live singers. We assume the pre-recorded music was off-key, since the alternative was to believe the band was singing that far offkey. We give it a big recommendation, but you might check the website to see who is performing first.

    Little Bucharest
    3661 N. Elston
    http://www.littlebucharestbistro.com/
  • Post #2 - April 19th, 2010, 6:14 am
    Post #2 - April 19th, 2010, 6:14 am Post #2 - April 19th, 2010, 6:14 am
    That corner has been Little Bucharest for years - I think it opened right before the place on Ashland closed. It has at times been called Little Bucharest, and at times been called Continental Cafe (with Little Bucharest as a subheading). I remember one particularly fun night at the Ashland Little Bucharest, where the owner came out at the end of the evening holding a big funnel in a phallic position, then proceeded to pour shots of ouzo from it directly into the mouths of the women with whom I was dining, all the while shouting "suck it, suck it, suck it good". Then he drove us home in his limo. Nice guy.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #3 - April 19th, 2010, 8:55 am
    Post #3 - April 19th, 2010, 8:55 am Post #3 - April 19th, 2010, 8:55 am
    Hilarious. I guess we were bamboozled. The waitress said they reopened several months ago, and the owner talked about other customers who came because they remembered the old location, as if this were an active phenomenon. Anyway, the food was good.
  • Post #4 - April 19th, 2010, 1:53 pm
    Post #4 - April 19th, 2010, 1:53 pm Post #4 - April 19th, 2010, 1:53 pm
    I had a similar experience with the "suck it" stuff, at the table with a girlfriend. Never been close to being a prude, but I didn't find it cute. Rather low class and vulgar-something an ill-mannered 12 year old might do. Owners of restaurants, or anyone, shouldn't act that way with people they don't know. (or most people they do know.) Food was acceptable, but that was the deal breaker.
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #5 - April 19th, 2010, 2:04 pm
    Post #5 - April 19th, 2010, 2:04 pm Post #5 - April 19th, 2010, 2:04 pm
    I've had a similar, thought less vulgar,
    experience at one of my favorite Spanish
    restaurants. It's not uncommon for the
    owner to make the rounds with a wine-skin;
    taking aim from precarious range. In this
    case, it's been nothing but fun.
  • Post #6 - April 20th, 2010, 8:36 am
    Post #6 - April 20th, 2010, 8:36 am Post #6 - April 20th, 2010, 8:36 am
    Wonder if they still have the stretch limo? Weird part was that it was painted brown not black.
  • Post #7 - June 9th, 2011, 11:39 am
    Post #7 - June 9th, 2011, 11:39 am Post #7 - June 9th, 2011, 11:39 am
    I went here yesterday for dinner and had a great experience. The owner, Branko, is such a sweet fellow, so chatty and friendly, and he even gave me a hug goodbye. He reminded me of Chef Paco of New Rebozo. I had the saganaki (hooray! craving sated!) and roast duck with rum sauce. Really tasty, and the leg proved especially satisfying to gnaw on. I can't wait to return. Apparently Wednesdays are slow, so they're thinking of closing then, but they will soon be opening a new location downtown (Wacker between Dearborn & LaSalle area). I really felt welcomed here, lack of phalluses notwithstanding.

    There is indeed a free limo service, but if your party is less than 4 they expect you to order $50 worth of food, which shouldn't be hard. Entrées ran between $15-20.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #8 - October 31st, 2016, 8:15 am
    Post #8 - October 31st, 2016, 8:15 am Post #8 - October 31st, 2016, 8:15 am
    Hi,

    I am new to this forum so I wanted to introduce myself. I run a neighborhood restaurant on Chicago's northside that specializes in Mediterranean and Eastern European food.

    I believe that 'continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.' That is one of the reasons for me being here - to gather feedback on our ethnic food cooking skills and use it to improve said skills. The other reason is to connect with like-minded people that, like myself, truly enjoy being part of this industry. Image

    You can find our full restaurant menu here:
    http://littlebucharestbistro.com/dine-in-menu/
    or read what people say about us here:
    https://www.yelp.com/biz/little-buchare ... ro-chicago

    Thank you,
    Branko

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