Pekarna is NYC’s First Slovenian-American Restaurant

pekarna upper west side slovenian restaurant bar interior

Pekarna in Manhattan’s Upper West Side is New York City‘s first Slovenian-American restaurant. The restaurant originally expanded their New American menu to include Slovenian cuisine earlier this year. They are also the largest restaurant and events venue on the UWS.

The name ‘Pekarna’ translates to bakery in Slovenian. The name is particularly fitting as the restaurant space was once the home of a bakery. Australian-native Dean O’Neill is the owner and operator of Pekarna.

pekarna nyc dinner dish white plate

Meet Pekarna’s Chefs

Executive Chef Kamal Hoyte is at the helm of the kitchen at Pekarna, as well as Consulting Pastry Chef Alma Rekvic. Chef Hoyte originally grew up in the Caribbean in St. Vincent and The Grenadines in the Caribbean. He is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and worked with some of the most renowned chefs in NYC at Oceana Restaurant, and Restaurant Daniel.

Chef Kamal Hoyte
Executive Chef Kamal Hoyte

Acclaimed top Slovenian Pastry Chef and cookbook author, Alma Rekvic, was a Chief Judge on Master Chef Slovenia. Recently, she has designed a few Slovenian dishes along with the dessert menu for Pekarna, as Slovenia is well-known for their special desserts and sweets.

Pekarna’s Menu Highlights

Chef Hoyte’s dinner menu is a melding of traditional Slovenian and New American seasonal dishes crafted with distinctive French techniques.

Menu standouts at Pekarna NYC include:

Pekarna Burger nyc

  • Crispy Wild Boar with Rice, Slovenian-inspired crispy spiced batter with house-smoked boar, served with a mustard and sweet chili sauce
  • Pekarna Buger, a colossal burger with a Wagyu beef patty, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, house pickled cucumber, pickled onions and house BBQ sauce in a toasted Kaiser bun topped with a fried onion ring
  • Slovenian Style Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb, served with potato soufflé, roasted Brussels, carrot creme and Movia Slovenian red wine reduction
  • Kremšnita Cake or “Slovenian Bled cake,” made in numerous variations unique to specific regions and people, is a puff pastry with vanilla custard, sugar and seasonal berries with Pekarna’s own variation, a passionfruit glaze, creating a new flavor profile.
  • Avocado & Crab Toast, with cucumber and wild Jumbo crab meat on toasted focaccia.

Cocktail & Wine List

cocktails at pekarna nyc

The cocktail menu features 20 selections. These include the Ying Yang, made with Absolut Grapefruit vodka or Malfy Rose Gin, limoncello, St. Germain, Giffard lychee liqueur and Mette Spiritueux. The Melting Pot with Venezuelan Diplomatico Rum Reserva Exclusive, and Giffard apricot liqueur is another great cocktail at Pekarna to kick off the evening.

Brunch drinks include the Champagne Mimosa. It is made with fresh squeezed orange juice and GH Mumm Brut Champagne. The Passionfruit Mai Tai is another popular choice. The cocktail is made with light and dark rum mix, Giffard passionfruit liqueur and fresh passionfruit.

swan cocktail
Images courtesy of Pekarna

The wine list boasts indigenous Slovenian grapes to offer New Yorkers new flavor profiles from family-owned wineries. The menu highlights the Slovenian sparkling Movia Puro Rose.

Pekarna Hours & Additional Information

Pekarna in NYC is open seven days a week for dinner and late night dining beginning at 5pm. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11am.

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Vanessa Gordon
Vanessa Gordon is the Owner and Publisher of East End Taste Magazine. Vanessa is regularly called on as a family travel, personal finance, and Hamptons lifestyle expert. She has been featured in Reader's Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily Beast, The Daily News, and many other publications. Vanessa is also the Founder of the annual Hamptons summer event, the Hamptons Interactive Brunch.