An Azeri Evening at VV

MTVostochniye Vechera is well suited to hosting boisterous banquets.
Vostochniye Vechera is a truly old-school Caucasus restaurant. Although it is situated in a rather unappealing location wedged between busy Nizhegorodskaya Ulitsa and the Third Ring Road, it strives to compensate with the fancifully decorated, free-standing building that houses it.

There is even a giant, clay wine bottle standing out front. In any case, Vostochniye Vechera doesn't seem like the kind of restaurant that aims to draw in passing traffic (although there is plenty of that). This is a real banquet-hall kind of restaurant, the type of place you come for your uncle's wedding anniversary or an end-of-year work shindig.

The interior is no less elaborate than the exterior, a classic recreation of a village house. The plastered white walls have patches artfully absent in order to expose the red brick beneath. Of course, there are plenty of dark wood beams crisscrossing about the place, and the furniture could not be more rustic. In the evenings, performers croon some ballads for your enjoyment and there is a space cleared for dancing if the mood should strike you.

Vostochniye Vechera is an Azeri restaurant that specializes in Baku cuisine. There are many lamb dishes such as dushbara lamb soup (200 rubles), piti lamb soup (150 rubles) and lamb kharcho stew (120 rubles). Sadzh, which come served in the large wok-like pans used in their preparation, come either with lamb (300 rubles), pork (300) or meat (450 rubles). There are more than two dozen varieties of shashliks and kebabs listed on the menu starting from 80 rubles for a potato lyulya kebab. Homemade Baku cheese sells for 200 rubles. Azeri wine starts from 600 rubles a bottle or 160 rubles a glass, and the house Vostochniye Vechera draft beer cost 120 rubles a half-liter.

52 Nizhegorodskaya Ul., Bldg. 52, 670-6538, 11 a.m.-2 a.m., M. Marksistskaya.