Located on bustling Watertown Street in Nonantum Village, Moldova Restaurant merges classic Eastern European comfort food and a chic environment to create a unique experience for customers.
Moldova’s location in the city of Newton is prime, with small businesses dotted up and down the block.
The restaurant’s interior is bright, spacious, and welcoming. The dark wooden furniture and rustic bar complement the modern art on the walls and stringed lights to create an atmosphere that is both modern and homey. Moldovan folk songs sung in Romanian and Ukrainian provide pleasant background music for the restaurant’s customers.
The menu is true to the restaurant’s name, only offering authentic Moldovan dishes.
Its coltunasi—a type of hand-rolled dumpling popular in Moldovan cuisine—would satisfy anyone. Customers can select their dumplings with their choice of cheese, pork, or potato filling. The goat cheese filling is creamy and tart, wrapped in soft dumpling dough to create a smooth texture. These dumplings are an easy dish for those new to Eastern European cuisine to fall in love with.
Moldova’s kebab de miel entree is packed with flavor. The dish consists of juicy lamb kebabs with pan-fried potatoes. The kebab de miel comes with marinated red onion, pickles, and house-made hot sauce. The lamb is served hot and packed with the flavor of various herbs and spices. The meat itself is tender but substantive.
The pan-fried potatoes pair perfectly with the homemade hot sauce, which is cold and tangy. Moldova’s hot sauce adds a kick to the potatoes, which are crispy and crunchy without overpowering the whole entree.
Marinated onion and pickles top off the dish, balancing out the earthy flavors of the lamb and potatoes with a tangy, sour finish. The dish fills a plate but at a price point of $30.
Moldova’s authentic food draws in a crowd looking to taste flavors they grew up eating and know well. Lena and Alana, two Newton residents, described what drew them to the restaurant.
“A fun tidbit about both of us is that we’re Russian, so we like this place because we’re pretty familiar with this cuisine,” Lena said.
“The food here was good, overall good, and I like the music,” Alana said.
Moldova’s status as a place for authentic Eastern European cuisine and culture extends beyond the borders of Newton. With their check, customers receive a small card encouraging them to donate to a fund established by the restaurant that sends 100 percent of donations to Ukrainian refugees in Moldova.
Moldova has donated $2,000 to support the refugees so far, according to the restaurant’s Instagram page. The restaurant donated to the Friends of Moldova, a collaboration between Return Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) and Peace Corps Moldova to support refugees in Moldova, according to the organization’s website.
“We want to thank all of our patrons who have been generously donating to our cause of raising funds for Ukrainian refugees in Moldova,” the Instagram post reads. “We were able to raise $1,831. We decided to round the number to $2,000, and chose [Friends of Moldova] to be the best suited NGO that has a direct and quick impact on helping Ukrainian refugees.”
Moldova is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Guests can make reservations at the restaurant’s website.
Images by Caitlin Clary / Heights Staff