W贸dka Bar Salutes the Old Country With Comforting Polish Dishes

Sarah Dworak founded Babushka Pierogies and used the walk-up window staple to launch a bar and eatery in OTR.

Photograph by Wes Battoclette

At the corner of 12th and Main in OTR sits W贸dka Bar, a tiny spot with an even smaller menu that鈥檚 making a splash on the dining scene. Opened by Babushka Pierogies founder Sarah Dworak, it pays homage to her Eastern European grandparents, who immigrated to America in 1949, and feels like being invited to a friend鈥檚 house for dinner.

While weekends feature a pierogi-based brunch, the evening menu鈥攂roken into shareable zakuzkas (appetizers) and late-night snacks (after 10 p.m.)鈥攐ffers more variety. An aptly named entry on the former section, Welcome features airy, chewy Allez sourdough and salted rye breads, a wonderfully tangy dill butter, and housemade pickled vegetables. The Russian Beet 鈥淐aviar,鈥 crispy Allez Latvian dark rye canap茅s topped with farmer鈥檚 cheese and a lightly sweet beet spread, is also ideal for sharing. The star of the show, though, is the kielbasa bowl. The Polish sausage, pork ribs, and a generous heap of sauerkraut sit atop impossibly creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Don鈥檛 be fooled by the massive bowl; you鈥檒l soon lick it clean.

The libations鈥攊ncluding more than 50 vodkas, plus housemade infusions鈥攁re equally delightful. Our favorite cocktail is the Hi-Rent Fizz. Made with hibiscus and rose, red currant鈥搃nfused vodka, rosemary, and soda, it鈥檚 expertly balanced. We鈥檒l cheers to that the Polish way: na zdrowie!

W贸dka Bar, 1200 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-3739

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