Stepping into Café Little Europa, I had no idea what to expect. Upon entering I could tell this was going to be a fun night. I was meeting an old girlfriend of mine and we were both excited for a night out away from the kids.
German music was playing in the background and I was greeted by a friendly waitress who told me to "sit wherever you like." I immediately felt the warmth of this cozy café.
I picked a table for two by the window overlooking Federal Road so I could look out for her, and perused the wine list while I waited. Being in a German restaurant I just had to go with a glass of German Riesling ($7.50), which is a slightly sweet white wine. The German beers looked tempting, but it was a "girls night" so I chose the wine, which was very good.
The café is very cozy and has two seating areas, a fireplace and a piano player on the weekends. It is really a lovely setting for catching up with an old friend or an intimate dinner with your spouse or partner.
My friend arrived and joined me with my wine selection, which she also enjoyed. We decided to share the Potato Pancakes ($6.00) to start. The waitress explained that it may be a little while since the cook prepares them to order and they take a lot of work. "The cook" is the owner, Manuela Young, who moved here from Germany 17 years ago.
We didn't mind waiting since we had lots of catching up to do. The Potato Pancakes came out in a fair amount of time, but we were in no rush. They were delicious — crisp on the outside, paper thin and served with a side of applesauce for dipping.
Next came our salad, consisting of mixed green and red cabbage with a balsamic vinegar dressing. It wasn't quite vinaigrette, because it was just vinegar with a touch of oil, but still good.
For our main course, we both agreed we didn't want to go for a heavy Sauerbraten or Jaeger Schnitzel dish. My friend chose the Salmon Crab Cakes ($17.95) with asparagus and fluffy mashed potatoes. It had a lovely presentation and the cool cucumber dill dip was delicious. Not very German sounding, but an excellent choice and full of flavor.
I chose a traditional German dinner; Chicken Paprikash ($17.95) served with spaetzle (similar to thick potato pasta) and a cold cucumber salad. The chicken was thinly sliced into two pieces and the pink sauce was not too heavy and very tasty. I never had spaetzle and it was a nice surprise, not too thick like Gnocchi, but hearty enough to fill me up. The cucumber salad was refreshing. Neither of us finished our dinners — blame it on the potato pancakes.
Everything was excellent from start to finish. The owner is very friendly and warm, has a great sense of humor, and is very accommodating. A table next to us had someone with dietary restrictions and she was more than happy to ensure her meal was cooked appropriately.
Dinner for two with drinks, an appetizer, two entrees, tax and tip came to $90.
The menu consists many of traditional German and European dishes prepared from authentic Old World recipes. Other menu items include Hungarian Goulash, German Beef Rouladen, Wiener Schnitzel with Cheese Spaetzle, and a variety of other authentic German meals.
The Children's Menu has various choices for kids (What child could resist a PB&J with Nutella Chocolate spread?) and there are Vegetarian choices as well.
Check their website for more lunch and dinner selections, daily specials and upcoming events such as the Oktoberfest hike and beer tasting.
The atmosphere is quaint and cozy and they have live music on the weekends. For a nice dinner without the "stuffiness" of other fancy restaurants, give Café Little Europa a try. A little bit of Germany and Europe right on Federal Road. It is Brookfield's best kept secret!