Yesterday I was treated to a birthday brunch at Domku by some of my close friends. Though I’ve had brunch at Domku four times, I have yet to review it. Domku is a Polish-Swedish restaurant, which is a both unexpected and expected combination. There is little geographic reason for there not to be more connected cuisine between Scandinavia and Poland/Baltic areas of Europe. In the 1300 and 1400’s Polish cities were closely linked to Scandinavian cities in the trading union known as the Hanseatic League. While the Swedish Empire that lasted from about 1600-1700 mostly focused its power in Scandinavia and the Baltics, its hard to imagine how Polish cuisine could not be impacted from its strong neighbors influence to the North and East. If you travel in the Baltics, especially Estonia where nationalism is strongly felt, you will often seen references to the Hanseatic Lague and its history in the region. The reason for that is the same reason that we often do not see Eastern European and Scandinavian cooking linked today – the Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union has severed our mental notion of the connection of Eastern and Western Europe and these countries are keen to let us know that they are European – not "Eastern European" or "Former Soviet Bloc" countries.
Enough history for this morning, Domku does a really nice job of melding the cuisine of the “East” with that of the “North.” Their menu includes Borschts (more typical of Ukraine, Russia and the Baltics) and lots of dishes featuring smoked salmon. Trendy foods make their way into the menu such as Israeli salad. Norway is represented through large flat Norweigian Pancakes served with toppings such as tomatoes, mushrooms and gouda cheese or cardamom scented waffles. Salads and other dishes with herrings and beets also dot the menu. A major plus of the Domku menu is its either intentional or unintentional emphasis on healthy food and portions. In the evening (and at brunch, if its your thing) cocktails are served. I’m always especially to have one made with Zabrowka Vodka. They also have a large selection of Aquavit’s, flavored with herbs and spices – great for a night without a car.
My favorite part about Domku is the atmosphere. The walls have quirky (Polish maybe?) art and hanging lights. There are a variety of types of places to sit – bar, vintage couches, old wooden tables. I love quirky put together places – and this is one of them.