While In Saint Louis I took the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful meal adventure at Zhivago’s Russian Restaurant, located in suburban Ballwin. While I have not visited all the Russian eateries in the United States, I have visited many. And Zhivago’s struck me as one of the best. The appetizers are to die for, and for the lighter appetite might be enough in themselves.
The setting is romantic with a nod toward old Russia. Owner Slava Platanov wanted an atmosphere that would remind him of a dining hall in 16th or 17th century Moscow. It is warm and inviting, and the service is top notch at all times. The seating is prompt, with reservations being recommended but not required.
If one wants a drink before dinner, there is also a bar. It would be a crime to come here and not sample the many varieties of vodka. Try something you have never heard of , you will be pleasantly surprised. Of course, drink it as vodka is meant to be enjoyed. Ice cold, and by itself.
For the main dishes try any of the variety of Russian and Eastern European fare. There are some more traditional choices for the faint of heart, but I would say stick with the theme. The blini is outstanding, the mushroom soup is so earthy you imagine yourself out picking them, the pelmeni is so authentic you think you hear it speaking Russian. The cabbage rolls are the best I have had.
So if you are looking for a place to take that special someone, a place to impress that new someone, or just a place to relax with a great meal, Zhivago’s fits the bill.
Zhivago’s is located at 15480 Clayton Road, Saint Louis, Mo. the phone number is (636) 394-5758