11 July 2006

Restaurant Review: The Russia House, Herndon, VA

Went to the Russia House in Herndon, VA to celebrate two birthdays last night. Here's my take (scale of 30):

Ambiance: Upscale but comfortable. White table clothes, candlelight on the tables, chandeliers, draped room dividers, and some very strange art--caricatures of Russians that were a little freaky. 27

Service: Friendly and solicitous, especially for a Monday night. We had to wait a bit for the coffee to arrive even though we had our desserts already. On the other hand, they brought gratis desserts (tiramisu and cream puffs drizzled with chocolate) with candles for the two birthday boys. 28

Vegetarian Options: They had about five entrees, mostly variations on pasta with veggies but also a grilled vegetable and rice plate for the health-minded. They also had two vegetarian soups (both the borscht and the onion soup were declared meat and stock free) and salads. 20

Food: Rich and comforting. Lots of sour cream and/or butter in the sauces. Well balanced flavors and nice presentation. Sizeable portions. I was informed that the beef stroganoff was indeed worthy of being a house specialty. The cheesecake with chocolate ganache was lighter than one would expect. 28

Cost: Pricey. Downtown DC prices out in the 'burbs of Herndon. 15.

Additional plusses: On-street, free parking. Huge variety of drinks including every flavored vodka imaginable. Baskets of cloth towels in the restrooms. +2

Overall score: 25.6. A nice splurge for a special occasion.

My opinions. Mine alone.

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