Each of us decided to get at least one Russian plate of our three courses, and our friends came up first when she ordered the Tea Room Red Borscht with pickled red beets, seasonal vegetables, dill and braised beef pirozhki. We dipped in our spoon for a taste, and can verify that yesit totally was borscht. Better and lighter than what you'd expect however, and the steaming warmth of it welcomed a dollop of sour cream.
We went with the Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad with marinated ginger golden and red beets with toasted walnuts, bleu cheese and horseradish beet vinaigrette. First impression? Boy, we are having a really beet-heavy first course here. That said, beet salads are amazing and this was no exception. We could have used more bleu cheese chunks, but then it probably would have overpowered the sweet golden beets and the subtle horseradish hint.
Now it was our turn for a Russian course, so we went with the VarenikiRussian-style ravioli. The day's offering was spinach and cheese ravioli, and we have to be honest when we say that we were underwhelmed. There wasn't anything to differentiate it from any other large raviolis, and we got only about 5 under-filled ones. Instead we drooled over our friend's choice of the pan-roasted Filet of Beef with roasted fingerling potatoes and truffled cream spinach. So succulent! We would have settled for just a bowl of the potatoes if we could have.
There are two huge ingredients that, when listed on a menu, we cannot resist. One is goat cheese and the othervery much present in our dessertis bittersweet chocolate. We ate the Chocolate Pyramid with bittersweet chocolate mousse and raspberry filling. It wasn't a melty as we had hoped, but it was so extra-chocolately that our friend couldn't finish her stolen bite. The little bit of raspberry filling aided in cutting the thick chocolate flavor, and all was well. Meanwhile she ate the most filling plate of all: a round, classic cheesecake. There's nothing much to say about it since it was your typical cheesecake, just circular. We're sure it was probably 1,500 calories.
Warning: Try not to order beverages here as everything seems very inflated in price. Iced teas are $8 for a small glass, as are the itty-bittiest of espressos. $8 for the teensiest espresso!
[All photos: Jaunted]