When Eastern European cool hits, Chicago will be at the epicenter. We’ve already seen pioneers in the restaurants Kimski, Tryzub, and Anelya. These are places for fun drinks and plates that tell a story — not just of a rustic Old World cuisine but of traditions and ingredients moving into modern times. Now add Bucktown’s Pierogi Kitchen, where the previous owners of the boozy-brunch fave Lokal, Artur Wnorowski and Gosia Pieniazek, have brought their Polish heritage to the party.

The menu leads with its star player: pierogi. You’ll find them with a variety of fillings, including smoked, dry-rubbed brisket ($14 for six). These are tasty enough, and the owners (who are also behind the carryouts Ella’s BBQ in Lincoln Park and Earl’s BBQ in Jefferson Park) know their way around a smoker. But I prefer the traditional potato and cheese ones, particularly when they share a platter with cwikla (horseradish-beet relish), sauerkraut, and a snappy housemade kielbasa scored like a Hasselback potato ($17).

There’s much more to explore, including a drinks menu featuring the Polish lager Zywiec on tap and cocktails made with the spiced liqueur Krupnik, but no problemo if you just want a Negroni. I’m sure they’re just as popular in Warsaw as they are here.