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Queens Chowhound Dinner # 5 -- Romanian

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Queens Chowhound Dinner # 5 -- Romanian

Dick Campbell | Sep 30, 2001 12:22 PM

If you scroll down the board you will see a spirited discussion of Romanian Restaurants in Sunnyside, (do a find on sarmale) in which Michelle who speaks Romanian offered to help us with the rigors of Romanian dining. Several restaurants were proposed, and I toured all the ones I could find, and it was my feeling that Transylvania (or Transilvania as it is spelled on the awning) appeared to be the most authentic of the lot. But let me quote Michelle...
"I vote for Transilvania, because I have been there before and know that its an adventure (and the food is quite good and the wine is truly authentic), you really can't beat the atmosphere for a post-1989 Romanian culture lesson. Plus, I never like to miss an opportunity to sit under a velvet painting of the Dracula prototype!!!"
Well, all things considered (including what Romania has been through the last decade) this recommendation could be taken many ways. Indeed there seemed to be a certain amount of anxiety expressed about this restaurant and one of the others in the neighborhood posted on the board... even by Michelle. A little concerned, I made a trip there after my original walk-about to check how it was, say on a Friday night about 10:30...probably after the time we would be finished by, but a time when I would expect that if there were difficulties they would expose themselves. Instead, I found the place quite pacific... perhaps too much so, so that I can only conclude it is suffering through the doldrums that many restaurants are experiencing in the wake of the attack... This leads to another possibility that we may encounter, and that is the "nu avem" dilemma... yes, its on the menu, but we don’t have it. I believe this was encountered at another restaurant in the area and posted on the board by Naschkatze in her second post under sarmale... Michelle and I will do our best in making reservations to emphasize that they prepare for a group our size, but we can’t promise what the results will be. You should remember that this was a characteristic response in all Eastern European countries under the communism... and it may have to be considered part of the experience.
I expect a great meal, good wine and a great time. But this is a more uncertain choice than any of the others we’ve made... and it may have to class itself in the category adventure... and dining en lieu of travel. I’m fairly sure this is the closest we can get to Romania without getting on a plane. There should be music, however, with things as they are we can’t even be sure of that. If something occurs between today and October 12th we can fall back to one of the other Romanian restaurants in the neighborhood. Please watch over your email just before coming.
Here are the details:
Transilvania Restaurant
43-46 42nd St
Sunnyside (just off Queens Blvd to the north)
Friday, October 12th 7:00pm

Yes, I know I originally posted that it would be 8:00, but all things considered, including possible cover, 7:00 will work better for us...
There are a few other things I should mention. Transilvania has a dress code: no shorts, sneakers (I think they also mean to add jeans and T-shirts though I may be stretching it) and no "indecent outfits for the ladies".
It will be a little more expensive then the places we’ve been to... entrees run about $15, so with apetizers, wine and tip expect to spend in the 30-35 dollar range. Again, I can’t tell exactly what to expect. Perhaps we should wait a few more months till things pick up again (if they ever do) but the energy was here on the boards, and I thought it was time to move. Please email me to let me know if you plan on coming so I can keep an eye on the count.

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