I like a place that has a very obvious pride for itself. Moldova is a place like this, the people here know how to run it, they look very formal yet inviting, and the food is prepared and plated beautifully. As far as I know, it represents the only restaurant serving Moldovan food in the city, and takes this responsibility very seriously.
The name of the game here is mamaliga, food for the peasants. Served forever, and borrowed from neighboring Romania, mamaliga is sort of a bread-porridge hybrid that can be served with just about anything. It appears in almost every non-dessert we ordered, as you will see.
First up was the house special appetizer ursuleti ($6.99, below), with hunks of fatty bacon inside and out of the balls of mamaliga and piles of feta cheese. This by far was my favorite way to eat it.
A second dish with a side of mamaliga was the ficatei de pui la tigale ($9.99, below) chicken livers with a very iron-y taste mixed with cheese and sour cream. The iron was almost too overwhelming until mixed with all three sides on the plate.
Almost obligatory were the sarmale ca la mama ($5.99, below), the stuffed cabbage of Moldova similar to its Russian and Ukrainian friends. You have the option to also order this dish with stuffed grape leaves as well. The small creations basically melt away in your mouth and are happy to receive healthy dollops of the sour cream.
We ordered the carp ($8.99, "below"), but when it came out we were told they were out of carp and this was "other fish." I was not necessarily married to the carp anyways, and it was prepared so nicely on a pan with potatoes and salad. Make sure to douse it all with the extremely potent garlic sauce accompaniment.
Syrup streaks seem to accompany all the desserts here. Our first was the prune uscate umplute cu nuci ($6.99, below) looks like simple prunes, but they come stuffed with nuts.
The dessert I liked more was the clatite cu visine ($6.99, below), a Moldovan-style crepe filled with sour cherries and cream.
The restaurant was BYOB as of spring and we brought in a six pack to wash down everything. They happily pop the tops of any beverages you bring, and as you may expect the more Slavic-speaking peoples in the restaurant are drinking far more potent liquors. You only live once.