What to Order at Russia House

A shot of Imperia vodka launches a very smooth evening at Washington, D.C.'s Russia House Restaurant and Lounge. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A shot of Imperia vodka launches a very smooth evening at Washington, D.C.’s Russia House Restaurant and Lounge.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

On a quick trip to the District of Columbia with the Brawny Sherpa and the most senior of our youthful adventurers, we opt for dinner at the Russia House both for its convenience — located in close proximity to the Washington Hilton, where we are staying for the weekend — and in the hope that we will score some decent Russian food. We weren’t quite so lucky when we were actually in Russia.

We are greeted by hostesses with Russian accents and taken downstairs in the old townhouse at the corner of Connecticut and Florida Avenues. Heavy furniture and deeply intense red walls take us back to Russia before its revolution. Fitting then, that I order Imperia vodka as my cocktail, straight, no ice. It’s as smooth as water, and the crunchy pickle accompanying it doesn’t need to quell any burn. The orange juice chaser I ordered isn’t at all necessary.

What to order at Russia House? Traditional food, of course. I go for vegetable pierogis, while the youthful adventurer tries some stroganoff and the Brawny Sherpa opts for duck. The food is better than that we had in Russia, although the coffee is about the same. Russians, apparently, just don’t do coffee well. Save your thirst for the vodka, and visit for the atmosphere and the history.

Russia House Restaurant and Lounge, 1800 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

—Lori Tripoli

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