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“pretty good food, great experience”
Review of Russian House

Russian House
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Ranked #97 of 3,754 Restaurants in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Russian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: between San Jacinto and Trinity
austin, tx
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“pretty good food, great experience”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

We went last weekend - a first time experience for all of us both eating at this place as well as eating Russian food.
It is a most unique dining experience for Austin and was a nice change of pace. The decor was fun, they had a great band playing in the lounge in front yet the dining room was not too loud to talk to each other.
The food, while good wasn't exactly top shelf. The smoked fish starter was good but a bit smallish for the price. We had chicken lamb and dumpling entree's and all but the chicken left the diners thinking the portions were small. Not the end of the world but not exactly normal portion size for the market nor what one expects from "comfort" food.
All and all they are doing well for being new. My advice would be to pare down the menu some in order to focus on fewer dishes and execute them to a higher standard.
The service was very good - the cute and charming female wait staff wearing what I assume are traditional outfits in Russia or Ukraine.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank robg9000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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146 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    77
    52
    13
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
405 reviews
221 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Exceeds Any Expectations - Authentic and Excellent!”
Reviewed December 26, 2012

I had dinner with a group of 12 at The Russian House, and we couldn't have been happier. As soon as we were seated, we were greeted as if in a Russian home with a tray of peasant bread, sliced radish, pickled cabbage and shots of vodka from attractive glasses. Since we were a large group of old friends, we got to try quite a lot of different dishes, and nothing disappointed. We were about half Russian and half not, so some of the choices were led by the former.

I can say that the menu does not do justice to the food. One of my Russian friends ordered herring with potatoes, which sounded pedestrian to me. But, no, it was amazing. The potatoes were slices of potatoes lightly fried in olive oil, and the herring was nothing like what we get in jars. It was tender and very mild in flavor - delicious! The cod's liver salad appetizer was really tasty, and it had an unami flavor that I couldn't quite place but absolutely delighted. Among other appetizers, the pirozhki were not so unusual, but perfectly done, and the Vinaigrette (beet salad) delighted even non-beet lovers. The borsch was, as expected, close to the ultimate comfort food, and really too filling to be a precursor to an entree, although the person who ordered it managed both.

Among entrees, the chicken Taboka was not unusual in flavorings (except for the spicy sauce served alongside), but it was a perfectly prepared, pressed whole chicken. The menu also misled in stating it was served with green beans. The accompanying veggies included sweet grilled tomato, grilled asparagus in some kind of cheese, and other treats. The pelmeni, traditional meat dumplings, must have been delicious because they evaporated very quickly. There were many other dishes, but I encourage you to go and discover them yourselves.

We ate in a private dining room which could have held even more than the 12 of us, but it was decorated as if eating in someone's home on a lace accented table cloth with odd china collected over the years. There was a live band in the main room, and it was fun (if loud) listening to them. The restaurant is decorated in Russian and Soviet kitch, but it's all a lot of fun.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank sablatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
96 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Adorable Russian Staff”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

They were so fun to visit with. The food was good but we were full before the main course. So, will return for another attempt.. I was amazed their English was so good since they have only been here since May. They sang Happy Birthday to the couple behind us in Russian (who spoke Russian). We also met a playwright who is doing a movie there.. We tried 3 infused vodkas and a Russian beer. Austere in the front bar but adorable in the dining room..

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Judy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coachella Valley, California
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Nice change of pace in Austin”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

It's not very often that a restaurant in Austin is like NO other place. Russian House fits the bill. It feels Russian, the wait stuff are Russian (or Ukrainian), and the food is definitely Russian. The food is comfort food from across the world. And it's delicious. I also commend the wait staff. They are very nice, and fit nicely into the growing cosmopolitan nature of Austin.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank banned_in_austin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, CA
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Excellent Russian Food in Austin, Texas!”
Reviewed November 28, 2012

My wife who is Russian and I were visiting from California and we discovered this exceptional, authentic Russian restaurant where we had an AMAZING meal in the very quaint back room of this otherwise inauspicious place. The cuisine is very fresh and cooked perfectly in the tradition of the old country. We highly recommend this excellent restaurant!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank johnthyne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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