Russia: Moscow Mules & Blinis


With my parents coming to town I wanted to take them for a cuisine from a country that they would enjoy.  Since half of my ancestors came from Russia, taking my parents to Russia House would make them feel right at home.  Also, I’ve heard that the vodka is amazing and the atmosphere is one you must enjoy first hand.  Seeing the menu had rabbit I was more excited to have something I’ve never enjoyed.

We sat down in the bottom floor but it didn’t feel like we were put in a basement.  After waiting a long time for our server we were helped by a lovely Serbian waitress.   The drink menu was three choices only, vodka, vodka and more vodka.   Bridget and I decided that we should start with a Moscow Mule.  My mom ordered a Cosmopolitan, it only took her a few sips to really enjoy it.


We started the meal with a couple of appetizers that the server recommended.  This was after she disappointed me by telling me there was no Elk & Cherry sausage to order.  Instead we went with the pierogies and croquettes.  The pierogies (on left) were stuffed with sour cream pasta and lamb confit.  The chicken croquettes (on right) were fried well and placed on top of two different Russian salads.  One salad was potato and the other was egg based.  The salads were traditional “Olivier” and were outstanding.  The flavor of the salads were unique and had a wonderful pickle taste.


I was excited to order the rabbit for dinner and was  looking forward to a protein I’ve never had before.  Then the server came over to take our menu and disappointed my night, they were out of rabbit.  I overcame this disappointment and went ahead ordering a traditional Russian dish called “shashlik.”  Shaslik is lamb kabobs marinated in cider vinegar and many different herbs.  My lamb was served off the kabobs around a rice pilaf and dilled cucumbers.


Bridget also went with Russian traditional food ordering the Kulebiaka.  The kulebiaka is a puff pastry filled with baked salmon, fennel, onions and potatoes.   I thought it was a bit odd to have a pastry stuffed with salmon but Bridget enjoyed it and there was none left when the meal was done.


I figured my parents would be boring but my dad proved me wrong.  He ordered what I thought was the best looking item on the menu, pan seared duck breast (on left below). Ordered a little rare, it came out perfect and was enjoyed by all.  The meal came with a fun Russian treat, a blini (more about them in the desserts).  My mom got an appetizer, as the Cosmo probably hit at this time making her not as hungry.  She got the stuffed peppers (on right below) for her entree.  The peppers were stuffed with short ribs and were just enough to fill her up.


It seemed that everyone was stuffed after our appetizers and entrees, usually meaning no one would want dessert.  However, if you haven’t been to dinner with my family dessert is the most important part of the meal.  I was raised in a household that owned an ice cream story when I was a kid, dessert is very important.

I was looking forward to this dessert because of the Russian treats of Blinis.  Blinis are basically little Russian pancakes stuffed with sweets from the heavens.  They also make them savory but how is that exciting?  Bridget and my mom shared a creme brulee but really, who cares?  The blini I ordered was stuffed with fresh fruit and sweet cheese.


The blini capped off the night leaving a full-flavored and fruity taste in my mouth.  That or the 3 Moscow Mules I ordered cluttered my mind and confused my taste buds.  Either way, the 3 drinks I had helped me on the way out explain how Uber worked for the 100th time today to my dad. (Another story for another time).



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