From the Kitchen

Eva’s European Sweets offers taste of Poland with simple dishes, desserts

Jackie Barr | Staff Photographer

The meat pierogi from Eva’s European Sweets is packed with ground beef and is garnished with sautéed onions, sauerkraut and bacon pieces. The restaurant’s dessert choices include an orange and chocolate ganache cake and vanilla cappuccino.

Taking a step through the lace curtain into Eva’s European Sweets, I felt like I had walked into an authentic Polish restaurant.

This cutesy Polish restaurant and coffee shop, located on 1305 Milton Ave., has great desserts. And its meals — which have hearty servings and simple ingredients — instantly warmed me up. The focus is on the natural flavor of each item in the dish. Unfortunately, despite Eva’s tasty sweets, the dinner choices just weren’t my cup of tea.

The walls are a peachy pink and embellished with black and metallic painted swirls around the edges. Every inch of the restaurant is covered in vintage painted plates and old framed paintings of landscapes and flower arrangements. The walls were also lined with shelves of unstacked nesting dolls, and the beams at the front of the restaurant were laden with porcelain dolls wearing ruffle dresses.

The ultimate effect is slightly tacky and cluttered, but overall it’s simply a cozy and adorable atmosphere.

Situated in the back room, I ordered the four-piece placki Hungarian style potato pancakes and was told by my waiter that these were featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” The review said, “(The dish) solicited an ‘Mmm’ from Guy,” and I could easily see why.

The potato pancakes were thin and crispy, generously topped with ground beef in a chunky tomato, pepper and onion sauce, a big dollop of sour cream and a sprig of parsley. I loved the pancakes, which were like giant hash browns with a gooey mashed potato center. I avoided the ground beef and smothered mine in sour cream. One bite in I was saying “Mmm” like Fieri.

The pancakes were followed by the six-piece Polish specialty meat pierogi. The beautifully presented pierogis were packed with ground beef and piled high with sautéed onions, sauerkraut and bacon pieces. The dough was thin and much less chewy than Syracuse University’s dining hall version. But with unseasoned ground beef inside, I honestly found this dish to be pretty bland and uninteresting for a house specialty.

I also ordered the kiełbasa plate, a large sausage accompanied by onions and a bowl of bread. It was the smallest of the dishes, but also my favorite. The kiełbasa sausage was fat and juicy and paired with soft white bread, salty butter and sautéed onions. It was a bite of pure comfort food bliss.

After dinner was done, I could barely contain my excitement for dessert. The waiter took me to the dessert display case and recommended the orange and chocolate ganache cake and a vanilla cappuccino.

They arrived minutes later on a plate with hand-drawn pink and yellow gel flowers and a spiral of whipped cream, covered in rainbow sprinkles. I was tempted to lick the plate at the end.

The cake had three layers of thick, orange-infused chocolate mud cake with orange marmalade and chocolate ganache generously layered in between. The entire cake was covered in the same orange-chocolate ganache. It was rich, decadent and divine — I would happily have ordered round two.

The milk on the cappuccino was too foamy and unimpressive, but the coffee beneath it was sweet and creamy. Like a true European coffee, it was unfortunately much too small.

I’m coming back as soon as possible to Eva’s. But I’m skipping dinner and going straight to coffee and dessert.

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