Amid the lounge littered streets of downtown Austin, just before Fifth Street crosses I35, stands the modest restaurant front of Russian House. The building's exterior is lined with brick, and gold lettering, lending an intrigue of mystery to traffic passing by. Curious consumers enter the establishment to find a dimly lit bar surrounded by walls of rich, and unique, vodka infusions. They are then met at the hostess stand by an enormous, grisly stuffed black bear and his lavish wardrobe accompaniment. Bomber jackets, outrageous glasses, and fur hats fill the closet offering guests their own opportunity to transform into a piece of Russian culture.
Beyond the bar, french doors open to an eclectic and elaborately decorated dining room. The space is ornately furnished with antiques, personal photographs, and lace table linens. The mixed collection of china and cutlery is a charming addition to the already welcoming interior; this culmination of heavily styled decor exudes a feeling of familiarity - as if guests were dining at their grand mother's house in Kimry.
Russian House of Austin is a decadent indulgence of the senses. The ambient atmosphere in the lounge and dining room is enchanting, and offers guests an experience unlike any cultural eatery in the city. Award-winning chef, Vladimir Gribkov, specializes in traditional and homemade confections. The represented cuisine displays the best of Russia and explores the southern regional fare with medleys of hearty meats, vegetables, and of course - vodka. The infused list spotlights fruit and spice - even bacon - to create sipping cocktails and shots.
As an added bonus, patrons are offered an invitation to the Russian House VIP Vodka club or to their cuisine cooking classes. One can even spend a Wednesday evening in the bar learning the Russian language - where else in the city can you capitalize on such opportunity?
One of the many perks of living in Austin is the availability, and abundance, of excellent and authentic cuisine. Russian House is one in a league of many sought after dining establishments; however, the difference that tilts the scale in Russian favor is the unmatched and deeply hedonistic experience found inside the House doors. Russian House of Austin offers an evening you will never forget.
The Russian House of Austin is located at 307 east 5th Street, 78701.
© Lindsay Watson