by CD Davidson-Hiers
Ukrainian East Village is situated off 2nd Avenue in New York City, down a starched white hallway and around a corner to the left. On the right is a sign leading to the bathrooms down a set of stairs where the air sits cool, anticipating. The double doors to the restaurant are wood, which open into a room that, true to its name, is similar to a small village where diners can enjoy food as close to the Ukrainian original as possible.
We waited for a moment before being escorted to a table where we were handed menus full of options: pierogis, kasha varnishkes, blintzes, and nalysnykys. We referred to wikipedia more than once to determine the ingredients of the Ukrainian staples. Though this restaurant did not have any listed vegan meals, there were a couple vegetarian options that the chef, on Christmas Day when the restaurant was slam-packed full of festivity-seekers, was more than happy to tailor to suit our vegan requirements.