Tasty Russian at Tverskaya
Wed, Feb 29, 2012 (7:14 p.m.)
Photo: Beverly Poppe
The first trick to Tverskaya is actually finding it. In the back corner of the strip mall at the southeast corner of Flamingo and Decatur, it’s hidden away behind a storefront with limited signage (think: DCR’s secret entrance, minus the hipster appeal). And it’s worth the extra effort spent trying to find it.
- 4825 W. Flamingo Road, 247-8766
- Daily, 4:30-11 p.m
Start with the golubtsy ($9), miniature cabbage rolls stuffed with a ground pork and beef mix, simply presented in a tomato-based sauce alongside sour cream. My late Hungarian grandmother would have been proud to serve these meaty wrapped treats. Another starter of note is the Julien ($8). Served in its own handled dish, it’s essentially the best cream of mushroom soup ever, topped with melted, browned cheese. Also, the mamaliguta ($7)—polenta cakes topped with sour cream and feta—makes for a unique, and surprisingly subtle, appetizer.
Unsurprisingly, entrees skew toward meat and potatoes. One is shashlik ($16), grilled skewered pork served with a tomato sauce variant. The charring is particularly flavorful, though the marinara-like sauce is only passable. Better yet is the Viennese schnitzel ($15), perfectly pounded pork with light breading. The schnitzel is served with potatoes and cabbage, of course, but the meat is the highlight here. Best of all is the traditional chicken Kiev ($16), a boneless chicken breast loaded with herbed butter, breaded and served alongside thin potato strips chock full of fresh dill. And don’t pass on the cucumber salad ($7), a simple dish awash in more dill and house dressing, the perfect foil to all the carnivore-friendly stuff.
Part of foreign-cuisine fun is the chance to sample interesting drinks, and Russian is no different. Tverskaya doesn’t have a liquor license yet, so in the interim, try kvas ($3)—a non-alcoholic fermented rye beverage similar to beer—or mors ($3), a berry-based concoction. While the latter has a very strong nose, it’s actually somewhat subdued and not overly sweet. It would go perfectly with vodka.