Friday, February 17, 2017

Welcome to the Neighborhood: Krupa Grocery

The simple arugula salad

Krupa Grocery is that great little neighborhood spot that should exist in every little area but is so difficult to replicate. It has a well edited menu of a few log standing items, with frequently changing additions and subtractions, friendly service, a great bar (rotating local taps!) and gentle prices.

The restaurant is a place where you can pick up coffee and pastries during the day, but then have a wonderful meal at night -but also charge your phone while you're sitting there. And the small plates are perfect for sitting at the bar, when you don't have the time or appetite for a full meal (there's also a daily happy hour, but before AND after dinner).

Of course, it's all child friendly; with small plates, kids can have just enough to fill their tiny tummies.

Krupa is in Windsor Terrace, which is off most tourist and foodie radars, yet several times when we've been there, we've had Hollywood celebrities seating next to us (I'm looking at you Anna Kendrick). Yet we still had the same superb service, and waiters didn't seem to fawn over the famous faces.
The vegetarian farro salad

The risotto balls have been on the menu since the place opened a couple of years ago and you want to get an order or two (one nitpick: why three to an order? How many people eat out in groups of three?). These are crisp outside, gooey inside and nestled on a bed of tomato sauce scented with fennel.

At a recent meal, we had a simple arugula salad, showered with shaved grana padano and the burrata with fried artichokes and lemon puree. An arugula salad is a good test for a restaurant; with just a few ingredients, the proportions have to be perfect or the result is unbalanced. This one is perfection. A farro salad was another delicious small plate; now it has migrated over to the entree section, topped with tuna poke.

The gnocchi, better hot
We almost always get the roasted delicata squash, with the changing filling, but there were too many other things to try. But this is a great vegetarian entree and it was the first place I had cooked winter squash skin; it gets chewy and almost meaty.

There is often a pasta or two; we had a vegetarian ricotta gnocchi, delicate and loaded with wild mushrooms and broccoli rabe. Unfortunately, it came to the table cool, but the waiter replaced it with a piping hot version and took the item off the bill to boot.

My meat eating friends love the lamb burger, another long-standing menu item. And if you are gluten-free, there are many options.

Fried artichoke with burrata and lemon
There are always several IPAs on tap, but there is also a 'Manhattan madness' with three types of Manhattans - the civil, with cynar, is spectacular. For winter, there are also yummy hot toddies.

And go in warm weather, when the outdoor garden beckons.

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