A Real Pickle

Metropol

It would be easy to follow the borscht with stuffed cabbage, but tummies unaccustomed to all that roughage are better served with a meat entrée. I recommend the tabaka, or grilled rock Cornish hen. The hen wasn't so much grilled as it was split and pressed, the seasoned skin turned a crunchy golden brown while the flesh underneath it remained slick and moist. I'd ignore the vegetables that accompany the entrées, however; they come straight from the freezer section. Although the practice of serving packaged vegetables is common -- I've never been served fresh veggies in a Russian place -- I still dislike it.

The service at Metropol could also use improvement. Our servers were somewhat unfriendly and incompetent. I ordered a glass of pinot grigio from the wine list but received a glass of pineapple juice instead; when the waitress finally figured out what I wanted, she offered a selection of bottles with scarred labels. I chose the Meeny over the Eeny, Miney, and Mo, which turned out to be a fruity, overly sweet vintage, most likely from Georgia or Moldova, where most of the Russian wines are produced.

Shooting match: Owners Marina and Vladimir Kolesnitchenko toast their establishment
Melissa Jones
Shooting match: Owners Marina and Vladimir Kolesnitchenko toast their establishment

Details

Lunch and dinner Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. till midnight. Dinner Tuesday from 4 p.m. till midnight.

Borscht

$3.99

Chicken liver pâté

$4.99

Assorted pickles

$6.99

Grilled Cornish hen

$12.99

Meat dumplings

$12.99

Closed Location

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We were never even offered dessert. We were one of only two parties being served that night, but the other party was obviously Russian, and the servers catered much more to its needs than ours. First of all, all clientele should be treated equally, but I was also insulted because I have borscht in my blood. (My surname means "royal carriage-maker," according to some Russian dialects.) Metropol is providing some tasty, authentic fare, but it still has a long way to go to welcome all visitors with open arms -- and, perhaps, a pickle.

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