Russian Tea Time – Chicago, IL

DSC04234It is always a little awkward to take pictures when you are in a “fine-dining” kind of restaurant. My next dining experience was something similar. When was I was in Chicago for St Patrick’s Day weekend, I hopped into one of Chicago’s iconic restaurants, Russian Tea Time. It is right next to the Millennium Park and is very hard to miss. I have passed by this restaurant many times but never bother to go there until now.

russian_tea_time_collage1“Welcome, Comrades!”

DSC04237I along with few friends reached Russian Tea Time right during their afternoon tea time. We were asked if we were there for tea time or full menu. We were hungry and jumped right into full menu. We were served immediately with rye bread and some beautifully crafted butter!

DSC04239For starters we got Pelmeni which disappeared faster than we wanted them too. Pelmenis were stuffed with potato and beef and came with a side of pickled carrots. I have never tried potato pelmenis and expected them to be pretty bland compared to the beef ones but I was surprised how flavorful it was. Definitely a must try item!

DSC04240Yoghurt and sour cream as dipping sauce for Pelmeni

DSC04241Lamb Shank looked very appetizing when it arrived. Unfortunately I am not a huge fan of lamb. It has something to do with the smell of this particular poultry but my friends love lamb. They devoured it to its last bits. Although it was just 1 piece, it was enough for 3 people. I had a slice and loved how the sauce tasted but my sensitiveness to smell killed it for me. Maybe next time I should just close my nose and eat. Nevertheless, lamb was very soft like it has been slow cooked for hours. I particularly liked that it came with a side of greens. So much meat definitely needs some vegetables.

DSC04244A was a fan of the Russkie Chicken Kotletkas Patties aka chicken cutlet. It wasn’t wow level for me but A loved it. He even said that it tasted just like how his mum makes them. He was one happy diner!

DSC04245Beef Stroganoff was my favorite dish off all.  I can now see why this is their most popular entrée. Lean sirloin beef cooked in a very creamy sauce laid on top of a bedding of Kasha and noodles along with a side of shredded carrots and beets. It reminds me of a good creamy chicken Alfredo but with some subtle hint of spices. This is something I would order it when I am really hungry and just want to feel full and satisfied. My friends agree too 🙂


DSC04251Decor was probably one of my favorite things at the restaurant. Everything looked sophisticated. The dim lighting and the chandeliers added even more regal vibe to the whole atmosphere. I loved the random posters. So Soviet Union hah! Our server was standing behind at a corner the whole time which I always find a bit odd but she was really nice and courteous.

Overall, this place is really good. It falls under the pricier side but then this is not your everyday dining place either. Although you could if you want to 🙂 All my friends including me loved the food. There wasn’t a single thing that we ordered that we didn’t like. I wasn’t feeling the lamb shank but that is personal issue between the lamb and me 😀 We couldn’t try anything from their afternoon tea menu as we were stuffed from lunch but that is something I would love to do next time I am here.

If you are in town and looking for a fine place to eat then this is a must go place!

Russian Tea Time on Urbanspoon

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