Tuesday, February 15, 2011

From Russia...With Love

This title had to be used eventually. I get a pass on the cheesy factor and expectancy because it is Valentine's day, yeah?

Our first mistake was trying to recreate what Valentine's Day was for us in the states. Flowers, fancy dinner, dressing up...yadda yadda...I don't know why. We know nothing in Moscow works out if you put in in an American box. But we tried...hard.

We won dinner from the local Ex-Pat magazine, Element. I was nervous about trying a place we haven't been to before considering how pricey a meal out can be in Russia, and how hit or miss the food is, and miss the service is. The website had no English, but we decided to give it a go anyway.

I rushed home after work pretty-fy. My husband booked a cab. I told him I may wear boots despite the cab since we have a history of cabs not working out and being as door to door as you would expect from a cab. He assures me it will be fine and to please wear heels.

The cab was late, we sat in Moscow traffic for over an hour, decided to ditch the cab and make a go for the metro. My nearly 5 inch miserable-going-in-the-trash-as-soon-as-I-get-home (i vowed all night, but they're back in my closet now, all forgiven) Jessica Simpson heels helping me to slip and slide my way across the street.

We metro'd, found the restaurant, and were completely blown away by the ambiance. Rarely, do pleasant surprises happen here when it comes to food.

There were a few typical how-do-they-eat-this-ew dishes on the menu:

But overall, normal fancy menu. We stuffed ourselves beyond capacity. I wasn't drinking due to the events of Saturday night and the-hangover-that-should-never-be-talked-about. It was so nice to have a normal meal for once here in the land of hidden herring.

The restaurant was full of typical Russian couples. Which is: super-model-gorgeous young girl, and older man who does not seem to shower or own a clean shirt. There was same-side sitting all around.

While I was in the restroom, the manager came over and in broken English asked my husband if he was pleasuring himself. We took it to mean having a nice time which he agreed he was. If that is not what he meant, then well I guess he thinks Americans are bolder than he thought.

The manager presented us with a special dessert which is amazing because I am not sure I have ever been given anything free here, and usually wait staff acts like you should be giving them free dessert:

Obviously I had no self control, and a picture was a complete after thought. How could I? This is what greeted us when we walked in the restaurant, so I knew what goodness was coming:

Nom Nom Nom Nom

The cab ride home was the most successful ride we have had yet. We participated in the gypsy cab phenomenon in Russia (basic common hitch hiking) got in a car with a stranger, who was sitting on the wrong side of his car (drivers here drive on the same side of the street and same side of the car as America....typically) and watching TV and surprisingly gave us door to door service. 

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