I fear saying good things about a still-obscure Polish spot like Bar Dobre. The last time WW brought attention to one (Grandpa's Cafe), it made itself membership-only. Well, fingers crossed: The pierogi ($6) at Bar Dobre are perfectly serviceable, but this new Italian-Polish locale also sports quite simply the best kielbasa plate I've had this side of Chicago. The $12 plate will serve as anchoring paperweight for two, and includes spicy house-stuffed sausage, seared kale ensconced in plentiful bacon, an airy potato pancake and warmly brined sauerkraut. The 12-inch pizzas ($12)—apparently a hand-me-down from the Italian side of the chef-owner's family—feature sauces simple and fresh as a breeze, but after a hearty pie with kielbasa, greens and egg, you'll be loath to move from your seat. Luckily, the bar is a cozy place to slowly digest—whether Polish, pizza or a lovely roasted-beet salad ($7)—and rich in apéritifs, with a drink menu that takes its vodka extraordinarily seriously. With its deep-toned wood panels, framed mirrors and cast-iron chandelier, the bar's dim space is the front room of your alcoholic grandma's house. And she's serving unfiltered Belvedere vodka, vodka-champagne cocktails ($9) and whiskey with Krupnik honey liqueur that's like a toddy without the tea ($9).
- Order this: Kielbasa plate and pierogi to split between two, paired with a Boleslaw (vodka of choice, ice, cucumber, lemon).
- Iâll pass: Polish beers. The entire country never quite figured out how to brew.
EAT: Bar Dobre, 3962 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 477-5266, bardobre.com. 5-11 pm Monday-Thursday, 5 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday. $.