Two Romanian Restaurants in NYC
September 7, 2006
As the “owner” of this blog I am able to see what searches people did to find my blog. Recently I saw that someone had searched under “Little Romanian New YorK”. I was surprised because I was not aware there was a little Romania in NYC (I am assuming that by New York, the searcher meant NYC). So I did the search myself and did not come up with anything to indicate that there is an area of NYC that is specifically Romanian.
So I thought I’d offer what little I know. I used to live in Sunnyside, Queens. A traditionally Irish neighborhood, over the past years many other immigrants have settled there. And while I wouldn’t say the area is a Little Romania, there is a Romanian community there. On summer weekends you can find Romanian guys playing football/soccer in the park on Skillman Avenue, and there are two restaurants within walking distance of the 40th St./Lowery stop on the #7 train.
The first restaurant is located on 42nd St. and Queens Blvd. and is called “Transylvania”. In the seven years that I lived down the street from the restaurant I never went in. This was before I knew anything about Romania or Romanians or that someday I’d be living in Romania. All I knew was that there were always people standing outside the restaurant speaking a strange foreign language. There was usually live music coming from inside. While intrigued by the name of the restaurant I was never brave enough to go inside. It seemed, from my outsider’s point of view, to be an insider’s club. I’m sure I was just being too easily intimidated and I’m sure they are welcoming to non-Romanians.
The second restaurant is called “Romanian Garden” and is located on Skillman Ave. (I think near 45 St.) It is a smaller restaurant with a gardenish feel. I went there with my mother shortly before I left the States. I wanted to see what Romanian food was like. I found the restaurant to be comfortable and friendly and I enjoyed my meal (I chicken dish). Traditional Romanian dishes including meech (that’s an anglacized way of spelling it) and sarmale are available. Lots of the clientele is Romanian, so if you want someplace to get a taste for Romanian people, food and culture, this is a place to go.