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“Everything I expect from a restaurant in Russia”

The Idiot Restaurant
Ranked #90 of 10,377 Restaurants in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $15
Cuisines: Russian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Melbourne
Level Contributor
210 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Everything I expect from a restaurant in Russia”
Reviewed October 10, 2012

"The Idiot" is a St Petersburg institution, sadly these days it's more likely to be filled with tour groups on their way to the nearby Mariinsky Theatre, than it is poets, philosophers or revolutionaries.

No doubt it has plenty of old world charm and atmosphere, the furniture, drapes, artwork and low ceilings, along with the name - none would be out of place among the works of Dostoyevsky.

But the charm wears off quickly as the ordering process begins. "No you can't have this". "No we are out of that" - which all roughly translates to "we can't be fagged making anything on the menu, so you will have this". Well at least our waitress isn't tearing strips off us, the fate of a fellow at a nearby table. Not even a free shot of bleach-like vodka can lift our spirits. And who brings out vodka for kids anyway?

Once the food does arrive, its all wrong, stodgy and bland. We leave feeling unfulfilled, and very unloved.

All in all, you come to a place like this for the experience, not the service or food. Put the latter aside and you might think its worth it as part of your quest to find the real Russia.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TheEscapeGoat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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740 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    321
    284
    85
    36
    14
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“My favorite place to eat in St. Petersburg”
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Off the beaten path, a bit quirky, but lots of old world charm. Delicious vegetarian fare. Try the homemade peleni and borsh. The complimentary shot of vodka is always nice. Love this place.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank emmochka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton of Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“over rated and over priced”
Reviewed September 5, 2012

As vegetarians we were happy to find this but found it over rated. The food was nothing special and the portions were small and overpriced. We were not impressed

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Msfr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest
Level Contributor
179 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
“They could have served me anything....I just loved it !!!”
Reviewed August 30, 2012

The atmosphere is the first great plus...The quirky and eclectic surroundings ..
It is a while since I went but I had caviar and blinies and some vegetarian dish ...and just loved it...I know the food is not the greatest but go,go,go for that special experience...

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank filmex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daejeon, South Korea
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Dostoevsky's study and restaurant”
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Great atmosphere, free welcome drink of vodka, nice people with a varied menu that includes many dishes for vegetarians and others.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Daejin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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