There haven't been reports on this little place since way back in 2006 and I do think it deserves more love here on the board. The timing of the snowstorm made it the perfect place for four of us to enjoy dinner last night and we got to try a lot of what they offer.
Started with a tower of blintzes with salmon, salmon roe, sour cream and dill. Also a mushroom crepe and a samsa, a puff pastry delight stuffed with lamb, beef and onions. Everything had a liberal dollop of sour cream, which is a good thing in my book. We also tried vereniki, little dumplings stuffed with potatoes and topped with onions and more sour cream. Vereniki were probably the weakest of the starters, lovely and delicate in texture but pretty flavorless. As a puff pastry fiend, I liked the samsa the best but we managed to scarf everything down with glasses of icy horseradish vodka.
Mains were beef stroganoff for two of us, and the other two went fishy. Sturgeon fish pie was strongly flavored but devoured, and the kulebyaka (puff pastry wrapped fish with vegetables, mushrooms and onions) was heeeeelariously presented with an olive for an eye -- see picture below. I have to say the stroganoff was some of the best I've ever had, and I could lap up a whole 'nother vat today as the snow melts.
Desserts were good too ... blintzes with chocolate and a warm apple strudel. Pot of tea with strawberry preserves to stir in, and we were well sated. Sadly the place was empty, and while it's not cheap ($56/head but a LOT of food and a few wudkas each) it's certainly a good value for the level of cooking. Chef came out at one point and accepted our compliments in a typically taciturn Russian way. Our waitress was lovely and very eager to please us. The room is small but nicely decorated, with the exception of the large TV over the bar displaying the Andre Rieu PBS special concert (ugh). Just try to look away.
Lots of things we didn't get to on the menu (http://www.russian-restaurant-boston....) and I'd like to try the borscht and the lamb in particular.
Anyone else been? What's the story on this place ... despite being a fun and lively time for our party, it felt kind of sad. Are they sometimes more busy? I can't imagine how they stay open otherwise.
Pictures forthwith (blintz tower, vereniki, sabsa, sturgeon pie, "here's looking at you" fish, stroganoff, strudel, chocolate blintzes):
Stoli Bar & Restaurant
213 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445