Located on a quiet canal fronted street the upscale Pushka Inn is just minutes from the top museums and other central St Petersburg sights.
Our room, overlooking the canal and beautifully appointed, was spacious and comfortable. Amenities included a safe and coffee and tea service. The helpful front desk staff speaks great English.
The breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant next door, Janno, and includes a variety of hot and cold dishes that are reasonably good for this price point. Coffee is individually prepared and served to your table.
Kvartirka Soviet Café
Kvartirka Soviet Café, a casual theme diner, takes you back to the early Soviet Union with living room furnishings from the 40s to 60s. The menu offers an extensive list of Russian dinner fare – including both meat and fish options. We started with the chicken soup and chicken pelmeni (dumplings).
For mains we ordered the pike patties served with mashed potatoes and stuffed peppers, a seasonal special. Everything was well prepared and tasty, but this is a diner style café. Don’t expect fancy dishes.
Georgian cuisine is popular in St Petersburg. A great example is Khochu Kharcho, a large spacious restaurant that’s part of large restaurant group. The dining room has an exotic cozy flare with patterned pillows and dark woods. The uber-extensive menu goes on for many pages with all kinds of tempting offerings from Georgia and other regions. Give yourself extra time just to read the menu.
We started with a veal and vegetable salad and the signature soup, Kharcho, a spicy red broth offered with a choice veal or mutton. Excellent flavor and worthy of the signature dish designation.
For mains we tried the smoked mackerel served with roasted potatoes and the eggplant layered with ground lamb and cheese. Everything was well prepared and flavorful. The bread, one of their specialties with many varieties to choose from, however, was a disappointment. The lavash we ordered was tough.
Hamlet+Jacks was one of the most fun dining experience of our trip. This mid-sized restaurant with a hip urban flare specializes in modern Russian cuisine. Their mid-sized menu categorizes offerings by ‘our’ (only local products), ‘ours and theirs’, and ‘theirs’. Presented with such a list of varied and unusual menu items we decided to try their 6 course tasting menu paired with Russian wine.
Everything was beautifully presented, well done and tasty. Our favorite dishes of the evening were the smoked pike and foie gras dumplings, herring and the cauliflower confit. We found the turkey lasagna the least exciting dish but still quite tasty.
The high concept dessert, From Roots to Cake, is a contrast of vegetables and dessert, with one side less sweet than the other. The pie crust plated on one side adds extra sweetness along with the addition of burnt potato ice-cream burned table side.
The wines were also well thought out and tasty. Truly an enjoyable experience and one I highly recommend for the restaurant enthusiast.
October 2-6, 2019
For links to all the posts in this series see the Russia page.