CHICAGO (WLS) --Typically, Eastern European food - especially Ukrainian and Polish - is meant to be eaten in the wintertime, while wearing a sweater.
A new restaurant in Ukrainian Village is trying to lighten up those traditional dishes by relying a lot more on vegetables and lean meats.
Of course, you can still find a version of goulash and potato pancakes and borscht, but at Tryzub, they're also trying to cook with the seasons. That means employing a lot more vegetables this time of year, and even some chilled soups to beat the heat.
Just as refreshing as a cool drink, but as substantial as any hearty soup, the chilled beet borscht at Tryzub, a sparkling new addition to Ukrainian Village, reinforces the idea that they're trying to change things up, and shatter some of the meaty, starchy stereotypes.
"What we wanted to do was take traditional Ukrainian food and kind of lighten it and modernize it, give it more color and freshness, and elevate it to a new level," said owner Myron Lewycky.
Crepes are thinner than Swedish pancakes, stuffed with grilled chicken, then cooked until browned in a bit of butter; even pierogis take a healthier turn, that is, if you choose.
"So we made pierogis that are orange, infused with carrot juice, red with beet juice and green infused with spinach juice and filled with very light, interesting flavors and fillings that you don't find traditionally," Lewycky said.
Stuffed peppers are quite a bit smaller than what you'd see on South Archer or North Milwaukee Avenues, and the European-inspired salads look like they're straight out of a West Loop hot spot.
"So we present our salads in a deconstructed form, where you can identify the individual components and you can sort of really see the freshness and the goodness of our food," he said.
EXTRA COURSE: One of Tryzub's most beloved desserts: the chocolate walnut cake.
2201 W Chicago Ave