Koliba's Hibernation Fare, Czech-Style


[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Another cold snap demands a dip into the coffers of comfort food restaurants, and that's certainly the specialty at Koliba. This Astoria Czech restaurant does massive plates of of fried and stewed meat alongside cabbage of all kinds and fat hunks of starch. Add in a hunting lodge-like dining room and a menu of cheap Pilsners and you have the makings of the perfect place to fight back the dregs of winter.

One dish in your arsenal: Potato Spaetzle with Sauerkraut and Bacon ($11.75), which tells you most of what you need to know except for how damn big your platter of doughy dumplings will be. The spaetzle themselves are soft and tender, seasoned mostly by the strewn bits of mild sauerkraut and much more aggressive bacon, cut into meaty cubes off a slab.

For a slight upcharge you can get a fat dish of sour cream with a silky texture almost akin to crème fraîche, and it's the only thing you need to make the most of this carb bomb on a plate. Do your worst, below-freezing nights, because we have spaeztle.