Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gorilka in the Khatka

MTThe Ukrainian khatka hall has a peasant mannequin on the fireplace.
Khatka Chervona Ruta is a small restaurant with a big name. The long-winded moniker is Ukrainian for Red Rue Hut -- a name that has a lot of resonance. It may, however, strike the botanically minded as strange, as the rue flower is usually yellow, but legend has it that once every 20 years it blossoms red and these red flowers can be used to bewitch the object of your desire. Naturally, such a tale inspired numerous creative endeavors, such as eponymous song written by Volodymyr Ivasyuk in 1970 and performed by such artists as Ruslana and Sofia Rotaru. Rotaru also featured in a film of the same name.

With such a name, one might expect Khatka Chervona Ruta to be a Ukrainian restaurant, but it is actually more of a pan-Eastern Slavic restaurant, combining Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian cuisines.

The freestanding building has two cute rooms, one designed as the interior of a Ukrainian village khatka and one made to resemble a Russian izba. Both are filled with all the rustic knickknacks that you would expect, with the end result resembling something like a cross between Yolki-Palki and Taras Bulba Korchma.

The menu lists all the vegetable-rich Ukrainian favorites, European-inspired Russian hits and little-known Belarussian dishes. There's a mushroom assortment (300 rubles), a fish assortment (550 rubles), boiled potato with herring and red onion (110 rubles) and kilki sprats with potatoes (100 rubles). A Ukrainian-pleasing assortment of salo or salted pig fat goes for 185 rubles. Belarussian dishes include draniki potato cakes with sour cream (140 rubles) or with red caviar (240 rubles).

Soups include all the classics, such as shchi with cabbage and mushrooms (180 rubles), solyanka (210 rubles) and getmanovsky borshch aged for one day (220 rubles). Naturally, the restaurant serves its own handmade pelmeni (210 rubles) and exceptionally good vareniki (potato and mushroom -- 150 rubles, cabbage and mushroom -- 185 rubles).

The vodka and gorilka selection is good and includes the Ukrainian Khortitsa Platinum for 75 rubles per 50 grams.

Property 2, 3rd Krutitsky Per., 540-7078, noon-midnight, M. Proletarskaya.