slideshow

First Look at Saro, Bringing ‘Cuisine of Long Lost Empires’ to the Lower East Side

Photo: Jenny Miller

This tiny "Balkan" bistro opened November 30 in the former Global Grub space. The restaurant is a joint venture between former lawyer Eran Elhalal (who's cooked at Brasserie 8 1/2 and Vespa) and his wife, Jackie, who mans the front of the house. The spot is named for Elhalal's Yugoslavian Grandmother, Sara (her nickname was "Saro"), and though Elhalal is Israeli, the Eastern European menu reflects the comfort food he ate while growing up. A slideshow of the space, and the menu, straight ahead.

Traditional Yugoslav dishes include savory pies in a puff-pastry shell ("a typical lunch" Elhalal explains); cevapcici beef kebabs; and a "pantry" plate that features, among other things, aivar, a traditional preparation of peeled, seeded, roasted vegetables, minced so finely the texture resembles caviar. The restaurant is still waiting on its beer and wine license, and when that's secured in the New Year, Elhalal plans to offer food and wine pairings.

The couple did most of the build-out themselves, installing a gold-painted tin ceiling and hand-stenciling the walls in gold as well. The dark-wood bar is made from a former baker's bench, a relic of the kosher bakery that once occupied the space, and tables are stained to match. Saro is open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. A limited take-out menu is offered Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., and there's weekend brunch from noon to 4 p.m. as well; the restaurant is closed Monday.

Lunch Delivery Menu (Tuesday-Sunday)

Escarole Salad ($12)
Arugula, Basil, Mint, Carmelized Pear, Gorgonzola, Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Sopska Salad ($11)
Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onions, Bell peppers, Chilies, feta, red wine vinegar dressing

Burratina ($15)
Made to order Fresh Mozzarella stuffed with Ricotta, Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil, Prsute Flower

Traditional Savory Pies ($12)
With a Glass of Kefir

Pastel
Traditional Minced Meat Pie, Pickles

Gibanica
Cheese Pie, Chilled Pepper Relish

Burek
Spinach, Aivar


Desserts ($8):

Saro Doughnuts
Jam and Chocolate Sauce

Slice of Hazelnut-Chocolate cake
Sour Cherry Reduction
*Gluten Free

Cookies
Assorted Homemade Cookies & Truffles

Dinner Menu

Appetizers:

Escarole Salad ($12)
Arugula, Basil, Mint, Carmelized Pear, Gorgonzola, Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Sopska Salad ($11)
Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onions, Bell peppers, Chilies, feta, red wine vinegar dressing

Burratina ($15)
Made to order Fresh Mozzarella stuffed with Ricotta, Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil, Prsute Flower

Saro Crab cake ($14)
Cayenne Snow Peas & Greens

A Taste of Saro's Pantry ($24)
For 2-3 people. Cured and Smoked Meats, Cheeses, Roasted Vegetables Caviar, Pickled Vegetables, Basket of Homemade Cornbread and Peasant Bread

Traditional Savory Pies ($12)
With a Glass of Kefir

Pastel
Traditional Minced Meat Pie, Pickles

Gibanica
Cheese Pie, Chilled Pepper Relish

Burek
Spinach, Aivar


Entrees:

Smoked & Roasted Guinea Hen ($18)
Fries and Pepper Relish

Karadjordjeva ($16)
Organic Chicken Breast Stuffed with Kashkaval and Prsute, Fries, Sopska Salad

Cevapcici ($16)
Jugoslavian Kebabs, Zucchini Fritters, Fresh Cheese & Onions

Braised Short Ribs ($20)
Egg Noodles & Feta, Crunchy Lettuce Salad

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder ($22)
Chef's Potatoes, Braised Cabbage

Pan Roasted Hake ($22)
Fingerling Potatoes, Green Beans

Fresh Homemade Pasta (vegetarian) ($16)
Acorn Squash, Collard Greens, Cream and Wild Mushrooms


Sides ($6):

Bread Basket
Fresh Cheese, Homemade Preserves and Aivar

Kalsonis
Homemade Istrian egg noodles and feta

Crunchy Lettuce Salad

Braised Collard Greens

Hand cut French Fries

Steamed Greens

Sopska Salad


Desserts ($8):

Saro Doughnuts
Jam and Chocolate Sauce

Slice of Hazelnut-Chocolate cake
Sour Cherry Reduction
*Gluten Free

Cookies
Assorted Homemade Cookies & Truffles

Brunch Menu - $12

Homemade Granola
Yogurt & Seasonal Fruit

Escarole Salad
Arugula, Basil, Mint, Carmelized Pear, Gorgonzola, Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Saro Benedict
Poached Eggs, Smoked Bacon, Short Rib Hash

Satarash
Two Eggs any stle, Pepper Relish, Zucchini Fritters

Baked Bean Cassoulet
Sausage and Eggs sunny side up

Pieckavice
8 Oz Ground Sirloin served with Pickle Relish, Onion and Fries

Palacinke
Jugoslavian Crepes, Homemade Jams & Preserves

Bread Basket ($6)
Fresh Cheese, Homemade Preserves and Aivar

Saro, 102 Norfolk St., nr. Rivington St.; 212-505-7276

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