смачного: What would Richard Armitage eat at Veselka?

In one moment in this scene, viewers can see the word смачного above the name of the restaurant. This expression is Ukrainian for “bon appétit.” Here is the pronunciation. Very similar to the Polish smacznego, which I was familiar with. Veselka means “rainbow.”

Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett in Ocean’s 8. Love Lou’s outfit here.

This is another favorite food moment from the film — Debbie and Lou eating in a renowned East Village diner, Veselka. Each time I saw it, I thought, you should look and see what’s on the menu there. Eventually I got around to it. Here‘s the menu. The restaurant (history here) bills itself as Ukrainian, but their menu suggests that there’s a great deal of overlap between Ukrainian and Polish and Czech and German food.

I was kind of hoping that Debbie was eating the Ukrainian version of schnitzel, because I’ve been craving it lately, but Veselka doesn’t have a schnitzel on their menu at the moment. She might be having potato pancakes. But they’ve got a lot of other good stuff. A neighbor of ours was telling me recently that his wife has booked them on a Danube cruise, and he said, what’s your favorite part of that part of Europe, and I said, the food, because they eat meat and potatoes and hearty food all the time, it’s completely normal, and you don’t feel bad because everyone else is doing it, too.

So, additional fun fact — Veselka is only a handful of east / west blocks from where Armitage is said to live in New York City. This is definitely a place he could easily visit, it’s open twenty-four hours, and for a NYC restaurant, it is considered reasonably price (keeping in mind I read recently that the average NYC restaurant meal is said to cost about $47), so if he prefers to be reasonably frugal, this is a good option. Now, if he really is a vegan, this is not going to be his kind of place. There are vegetarian options but what Germans call Futterneid (envy about what other people have on their plates) would be a severe risk in this restaurant for all but the most committed vegan.

What would I eat? I’d probably order the bigos because I don’t make it myself and it’s the kind of hearty comfort food that I love. As I’m not afraid of cabbage, I’d go for a twofer and have the borshch as a first course. Warm. (Secret: I’m not the biggest fan of pierogies, although I’m sure they are spectacular here.) If I were having breakfast, I’d definitely go for the salmon eggs benedict served on latkas, though. I’m kind of surprised that they don’t have rye bread as an option, but maybe that’s more a Jewish / German thing.

So — imagine a starving Richard Armitage stalking the streets of his neighborhood and stopping in for a meal. What would he have? What would you have?

~ by Servetus on August 5, 2018.

7 Responses to “смачного: What would Richard Armitage eat at Veselka?”

  1. I can’t say for sure what he’d eat, I know he talked about eating vegan stuff but then he also talked about eating curry sausage during the same time period, so until I see evidence to the contrary, I’m going to assume the vegan was a phase or just experimenting. As for me, and what I’d eat there, I am not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat beef, and as most kielbasa is a combo of beef and pork, so oddly enough, I’d probably end up with the vegetarian plate which sounds fantastic!

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    • I was kind of joking about the veganism — he’s never said he’s a vegan, it’s something Michelle Forbes said about him. (I suppose it depends on your definition of “vegan”). And goat cheese isn’t vegan, lol. But I agree the vegeterian options here look delish.

      For about 25 years I was some varying version, although now I’d call myself a flexetarian. But I grew up eating meat, potato, vegetable at practically every meal, so I admit this cuisine calls to me on a nostalgic level. Dad expects meat at almost every meal, so that affects me too.

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  2. In Italy live a lot of people from est europe, but their gastronomy is not successful, as opposed to chinese, indian and japanese food. Maybe is a matter of time, they are just arrived. Or maybe climate: last week we floated around 38C (100,4 F) and almost nothing in that menu looks palatable. And maybe he’s a “reducetarian”, an easy and quite popular choice.

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    • Eastern European food is kind of heavy for the Italian climate generally, I agree. My impression is Italians get along with much less meat.

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  3. Didn’t he say. schnitzel when ask a fav German
    food during interviews for BS1 which is
    an excellent choice. I would think big guy and
    maybe adventurous guy that he is he would
    try a wide assortment of food on this menu.
    He needs to hang out more w Leland Orser in
    Buda who seems to have explored every cool
    and yummy food haunt in Budapest in my opinion. This is a great post on multiple levels
    and the next time I ever stay in NYC I will check this place out!

    Like

    • He did. I always remember the interview where he was described as eating steak tartare, and ordering Coca Cola and espresso. Evidence suggests he’s been an omnivore, although I imagine that the 2016 dieting was not compatible with much sugar, carbohydrates or fat — and eatern European food can be carb / fat heavy depending on how it’s made.

      I’ve never been to this restaurant but when I was in NYC more regularly I enjoyed eating in the East Village.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I actually haven’t visited the East Village so that is on my list of NYC hotspots to peruse. My mom used to cook very heavy German and Polish food in her cooking heyday bec my dad is a meat and potatoes guy. He has ventured into fish also now but he’s a big guy and couldn’t survive on “vegan” food. Ohh though that door opened about ….. you are so funny and brilliant.

        Liked by 1 person

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