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    Post #1 - July 29th, 2018, 8:46 pm
    Post #1 - July 29th, 2018, 8:46 pm Post #1 - July 29th, 2018, 8:46 pm
    Had dinner this evening with my mom at Qulinarnia, a Polish restaurant with a modern look. Lots of stars, Zagat rated, and packed when we arrived at 5pm with Polish families. Everything we saw being carried through was impressive. Mom saw the baked cauliflower appetizer and wants to go back for that, but we decided it would be too much if we had soup and a main -- because everything is generous.

    Instead of bread and butter, they bring out bread with pork paté and apple sauce. Very nice. We had wonderful mushroom soup (not cream of, just lots of mushroom and some fried noodles to garnish an intensely mushroomy broth) and the Polish sampler, which included potato and cheese pierogi, grilled kielbasa on a mound of sautéed cabbage with bacon, crispy potato pancake, and stuffed cabbage with mushroom sauce. All was very good to excellent, but looked less interesting than some of the plates we saw being delivered around us (the rack of lamb and the pork chops at the next table looked amazing). Will definitely need to go back.

    I did ask about the name and a potential association with C.S. Lewis, and the delightfully charming waitress explained that there is no "q" in Polish, so it's made up. The conversation in English wasn't easy for her, and her first explanation was about sounding like culinary. I told her I'd guessed that but was wondering about the "narnia" part (especially since there is a sign under the name saying "Our happy place"). Mentioning "Narnia" gave her the piece of info she needed to figure out what I was asking, and she said, "oh, yes, from the movie."

    Everyone there when we arrived departed while we ate, but no table was empty for long. Almost all families (they provide amusement options for toddlers.) I'm by no means an expert on Polish cuisine, but I have some experience, and it was more refined than some Polish food I've had, but just as abundant and rich. Not going to say the best Polish I've ever had (though in all fairness, hard to base any judgement on one meal), but certainly excellent and imaginative, and only a few miles from home. (In the same mall that was home to the late, lamented Retro Bistro.)

    So definitely recommended, if you're in the general area.

    Qulinarnia
    1730 W Golf Rd
    Mt Prospect, IL 60056
    http://qulinarnia.com/index.html
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #2 - July 30th, 2018, 9:35 am
    Post #2 - July 30th, 2018, 9:35 am Post #2 - July 30th, 2018, 9:35 am
    Worth noting -- the cold leftovers from Qulinarnia are fabulous -- the cabbage roll even seems better than last night, though that could be because I was pretty full by the time I got to it at dinner. Splendid for breakfast.

    I figure if the food is still absolutely wonderful after a night in the fridge, that's a good sign. :)
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #3 - July 30th, 2018, 10:23 am
    Post #3 - July 30th, 2018, 10:23 am Post #3 - July 30th, 2018, 10:23 am
    Hi,

    I have not gone here yet, but it has been my wish to go for some time.

    My understanding this restaurant has contemporary Polish food offerings familiar to new immigrants.

    I remember watching Jeffery Baer's Chicago Food episode. Dobra, aka Cookie Monster, was on camera talking about Chicago's Polish food. She said there are foods regularly served here, which are now unfamiliar in Poland. Food fashions and tastes have evolved, whereas here the food is reminiscent of another era.

    The host of New Scandinavian Cooking was asked by an American, "How can you eat all those potato sausages?" He has never had one in his life and needed to do some research to understand what this person was talking about. It turns out in the USA, we were serving food from over 100 years ago during a period of food scarcity. This was known to the immigrants of that period who made it as a home nostalgia.

    Qulinaria and Laikom's explorations of Polish bar foods like Zapiekanka are what Polish people in Poland are familiar with today.

    Who knew a visit to some ethnic restaurants was a time capsule for visitors from the homeland.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - November 13th, 2020, 10:04 am
    Post #4 - November 13th, 2020, 10:04 am Post #4 - November 13th, 2020, 10:04 am
    Does anybody know how Qulinarnia packages their Thanksgiving meals, that are picked up on Wednesday, since they aren't open on Thanksgiving day?
    "Good stuff, Maynard." Dobie Gillis
  • Post #5 - November 14th, 2020, 1:23 pm
    Post #5 - November 14th, 2020, 1:23 pm Post #5 - November 14th, 2020, 1:23 pm
    Yes, they're closed on Thursday, so all the pickups are Wednesday:

    From the top of the menu:

    PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU ORDER!! Thanksgiving menu is available for ordering for THANKSGIVING ONLY! Orders pick up is WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 25TH from 4PM till 8PM regardless of day and time you choose SO PICK ANY. Only this menu will be available for Thanksgiving - our regular one NOT. If you have any questions please call us 847-981-0480 :)

    We placed our order for Thanksgiving yesterday, and decided to do a little preview for dinner tonight with one of their family packs.

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