Wódka Bar Gives Brunch an ‘Old Country’ Makeover

Babushka Pierogies founder Sarah Dworak does it again—this time with breakfast-y midday treats.
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Photograph by Kevin Schultz

After months of teasing us with her walk-up window (and opening soon window signs) on the corner of 12th and Main, Babushka Pierogies founder Sarah Dworak has debuted her anticipated Wódka Bar to bring a taste of the Eastern European Old Country to OTR.

Everything from the menu to the interior design feels personal and pays homage to Dworak’s heritage. Upon entering, large-patterned floral wallpaper grabs your attention, as do several black-and-white family photos hanging on the wall. In the center of the room is a focal stained-glass feature, lending a touch of modern elegance. You’ll also find a few religious relics, including paintings of the Last Supper and the Virgin Mary next to the bar, keeping watch over the libations.

The pierogi-driven menu is joined by a broader range of Eastern European dishes for dinner. For brunch, Dworak looks beyond the sausage and biscuits found practically anywhere else, working in new takes on those famous dumplings. The quiche pierogies, stuffed with eggs, spinach, and feta in place of potatoes, were a major game-changer in our book.

The mainstays you’ve come to know and love are still available, too, like the potato, rosemary, and garlic, and the potato, bacon, and cheddar (this one had the creamiest filling, with a delicately smoky flavor). For a sweeter option (or even a light dessert), go for the farmer’s cheese pierogies topped with fresh fruit.

Photograph by Kevin Schultz

Obviously it’s not brunch without a little booze, especially at Wódka Bar. To take off that hair-of-the-dog edge in a jiffy, go straight for the hard stuff with a nip of vodka (varieties include wheat, blend, potato, grape, corn, and rye), or ease in with a craft cocktail. Juice drinkers, go for the Margaritakov, a breakfast-y take on a margarita (minus the tequila), with chipotle- and orange-infused vodka, lime, and cinnamon. Coffee fans, head straight to the simple, cool Russian Collusion, made with coffee-infused vodka, Bailey’s, and a coffee ice cube. It tastes even better than your typical morning joe, so we can’t promise you won’t be craving it come Monday morning.

Wódka Bar, 1200 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-3739, wodkabarotr.com

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