Arlyn Blake lives to connect people whom she thinks should know each other, and to get all of them to try the food at Lomzynianka.
Lomzynianka (which isn't quite how it's spelled, there's a line through the L and some other things, but I'm afraid I don't know how to add Polish diacritical marks on this computer, or any computer for that matter) is a tiny restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with the best latkes I've ever had (sorry, Dad), and pierogi, and borscht and blintzes and various other really tasty Polish food, cheap. It's BYO.
The name, I'm told, means "Maiden from Lomzyn," which I think is pronounced Wom-zin, but I'm not sure. As one of my Russian history professors in college used to joke, Polish is written in code.
The town of Lodz is pronounced "wooj." I mean, what are you supposed to do with that?
Anyway, Arlyn invited like eight people to join her for dinner at Lomzynianka last night. I arrived just as they were passing around pickled beets, cucumbers in dill, sauerkraut and various other salads. I ended up sitting between a spirits marketer from Kobrand and the owner of a magazine that profiles woman entrepreneurs. The Kobrand marketer originally was from Bulgaria, and she and the magazine owner chatted about Bulgarian wines and strategized ways to get the magazine’s readers in front of the marketer's wines.
Arlyn does that. She arranges what seem like random agglomerations of people and then it turns out that they have more in common than you'd expect. I can't say whether she does that on purpose or not.
What else I ate:
cold borscht, hot veal meatballs, wienerschnitzel with a fried egg on top, potato croquettes and blintzes.