Dom: If Walls Could Talk
Dom // 72 Moika River Embankment // Tel. 930 72 72 // Sun-Thurs: 12.30 p.m. – 11 p.m., // Fri-Sat: 12 p.m. – 1 a.m. // Dinner for two with alcohol: 3000 rubles // ($89.30). English menu available.
Published: January 22, 2014 (Issue # 1794)
There is something about the atmosphere at Dom. Like many of the historical buildings around the city, you can sense the history, the soul within the walls, no matter how much the interior may have changed over the decades. Such is the feeling at Dom that the beautifully renovated 19th-century style interior does little to shake off the feeling that something went down here…and it turns out, indeed it did.
Maintaining the layout of a house, you can choose to enjoy a drink at the bar first, join other diners in a brightly lit and spacious living room, or settle in within the small, cozy red-walled library. We chose the library after finding out that it was under this roof poet Kondraty Ryleyev, one of the leaders of the Decembrist uprising, lived. Along with other members of the group, it was here in this house that they planned the eventual bloody revolt on Dec. 26, 1825. After that snippet of history, the broodiness of the library felt like a good fit.
Noticing our shiny, rosy cheeks from the sub-zero temperatures outside, the waiter was kind enough to serve us an aperitif on the house to warm us up, and to perhaps prepare us for the rather pricey menu he then handed over. Proudly using local produce, the kitchen offers an interesting take on modern Russian cuisine, which could justify the price tag.
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With hot and cold starters offering dishes with mussels, scallops, ox tail and tongue, we ordered a more conservative serving of pumpkin fritters with red caviar and sour cream (550 rubles, $16.40). The soft fritters turned out to be more of a mash but this didn’t affect the taste — it was just more awkward to share. Topped with sour cream, the saltiness of the caviar played nicely with the sweetness of the pumpkin.
Traditional Russian salads such as Olivier, vinaigrette and dressed herring, along with soups such as borsch, ukha and shchi are all on offer. However, we decided to skip these and instead complement our sweet red Argentinian Malbec wine (350 rubles a glass, $10.42) with a grilled quail and berry ragout (850 rubles, $25.30) and rabbit pelmeni (450 rubles, $13.40).
Other dishes on the menu wrestling for our attention included roe deer fillet with warm pear and buckthorn sauce (1500 rubles, $44.65) Guinea fowl with stewed rice and truffle oil (1200 rubles, $35.70) and stewed duck leg with plum confit (790 rubles, $23.50).
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