In America’s melting pot of restaurants, today’s deal is the sometimes-overlooked secret ingredient that completes the recipe. Introduce your taste buds to traditional Russian cuisine at Russia House Restaurant and Lounge, where $15 will get you $35 to spend on food and drinks at this Dupont Circle favorite. An editors’ pick in the Washington Post, this chip off the old bloc is sure to please and entertain with its lively atmosphere, authentic dishes and—of course—impressive vodka list.
The restaurant only serves dinner, starting at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Behind the facade’s wooden doors lies a wormhole straight through to the other side of the globe, creating a scene unlike any other. In his review, Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post says, “Unpredictable crowds can make Russia House feel like one of the exotic dens from a vintage James Bond paperback.” While the crowd changes nightly, making every experience in the restaurant different, one thing remains constant: its solid menu.
Offerings are kept to a stoically regimented minimum and consist of simple soups and salads, small and large plates, and desserts. Small plates include dishes such as duck rillette (slow-cooked duck leg atop an arugula–red onion salad on goat cheese–potato puree with a balsamic duck glace, $12) or the perennial favorite, pierogis (Russian-baked dumpling stuffed with potato, apple-wood bacon, caramelized onion, and smoked duck breast, $12). The larger and, by definition, more filling plates range from the familiar chicken Kiev (butter-chive-stuffed chicken breast served with mashed potatoes, sautéed carrots, and squash, $23) to the authentic zapechionaya baranina (roasted lamb rack served with a black bread pudding, braised chard, red pepper, and a rosemary-shallot sauce, $30). There are also caviar selections such as Golden Osetra ($175), American sturgeon ($55), or the top-of-the-line beluga ($285). Finish up your food with one of their rotating dessert selections ($8).
A trip to Russia House would be incomplete without sampling some of the impressively obscure vodkas, beers, and wines from around the world. You’d be hard pressed to find another restaurant in the city serving pepper-garlic vodka, Baltika Golden Lager, or blood-orange vodka. Strap on your international-espionage shoes, be sure that you’re not being followed, and use the information coded in today’s Groupon transmission to get your borsch on.
Russia House was an editor’s pick in the Washington Post with the reviewer saying of his experience:
- Unpredictable crowds can make Russia House feel like one of the exotic dens from a vintage James Bond paperback. Sumptuously decorated for an oligarch, it certainly has the right look: red silk damask on the walls, flickering chandeliers, blocks of richly veined dark green marble set into the woodwork and used as accents above the bar. – Fritz Hahn, Washington Post
- The ambience and decor are in coherence with an old 18th century Russian house. The food is exquisite - Nuevo Russian cuisine. The staff is very acoomodating and the venue is very intimate and homely. – aschooler, Citysearch
- Loved it! Very unique menu, setting, and service. Food was outstanding and reasonable priced. Staff is very friendly and professional. Restaurant just has a lot of character. – OpenTable user who dined on 11/13/2009
- Food was good. Caviar, vodka shots and vodka infused sorbet was all part of our 5 course meal. Good duck and yes the Vodka Gimlet. – varun s., Yelp
Russian Films, American Villains
During the Cold War, American cinema was swarming with films featuring negative portrayals of Russians, which ranged from the bumbling to the truly villainous. What many Americans don't realize is that the same thing was happening on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Now that we're all friends again, we decided to take a look back at American villains in Russian cinema.
Blue Menace (1986): Blue Menace is the story of a sleepy Soviet town that suddenly finds itself ground zero for an invasion by American paratroopers. A group of teenage friends, under the leadership of their charismatic team captain Viktor (Demyan Bedny), rally under the name of their soccer team’s mascot (roughly translated as "the little groundhogs"). Will their daring plan to build a pyramid of hamburgers distract the American invaders long enough for the harsh winter to bury them in unforgiving snow?
Doctor Uncle Sam (1963): One of the most popular entries in the Agent K series (debatably a Russian response to James Bond), Vladimir Komarov plays Agent K, a tuxedo-clad KGB operative tasked with stopping a mysterious mad scientist, known only as Doctor Uncle Sam, from activating a device that will irradiate the nation's beet crops, resulting in a potent mind-control borscht. Features an unlikely cameo by Steve McQueen as "man tied to chair in background."
Lincolnski (1971): This agitprop short film features stop-motion animation to portray Abraham Lincoln as the bizarre master of a doom labyrinth. A cast of child stars fights their way through jagged mirrors, screaming masks, and the deafening abuse of string instruments. The film was eventually revealed to document actual psychological experiments on children, but not before winning an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Animated Short, accepted in absentia by actor Dudley Moore.
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