Party Like a Rock Tsar

08/01/2008

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The massive influx of Russians into Brooklyn over the past fifty years has brought New York one of my favorite imports – The Russian Restaurant.  Not your typical eating establishment, Russian restaurants in Brooklyn are part restaurant, part cabaret, part discotheque, part catering hall, and part vodka-slushing, ice scuplture laden, Romanov theme parks.

Evenings start with a bottle of ice cold vodka being slammed on the table with a slew of caviars, smoked fishes, and patês followed by an onslaught of extravagant entrees and desserts, while a troupe of Russian DJs and dancers parade across the stage in Swarovski-encrusted ostrich feather bodysuits and headdresses. More Vegas than Vegas, you feel like you’re a privileged guest of Catherine the Great (had she been raised in Brighton Beach.)

The other diners are as much of a show as the spectacle on stage. A central-casting crew of young Russian guidos and their heavily-accented girlfriends, old married couples dripping in Century-21 acquired Versace, and the lone unsuspecting Manhattanite who read about this somewhere and has no idea what he’s gotten himself into.

My favorite spot is the iconic RASPUTIN – the heavily favored and most surreal of all – with its combo of new-school and old-school Russia. Another is ROSSIYA, not nearly as impressive, but whose website you need to visit just for effect. Check out the “Show” section.

So get your post-Soviet brand awareness on and head to Coney Island Ave.

RASPUTIN
2670 Coney Island Ave
Brooklyn
(718) 332-8111

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