Allegro

Though the menu bills the place as “European,” Allegro is patronized mostly by people from the former Soviet Union, though the staff is more than hospitable to the occasional interloper. On the menu are herring and potatoes, blini with caviar, pilimeni (veal dumplings), smoked fish, sturgeon, and lamb, chicken or pork shashlik (marinated and on skewers). (Lamb chops, steaks, salmon and shrimp scampi are the nods to more standard fare.) Given geography, you’d expect Russian cuisine to be hearty, and it is. Chicken Kiev is a pound of chicken breast wrapped around a chunk of butter, then breaded and fried. Beef Stroganoff has a rich mahogany sauce, oddly sprinkled liberally with cilantro. Many appetizers are more expensive than the very reasonable entrées (almost all under $15), but that’s because they come in mass quantities. Allegro is open only Thursday-Sunday and hosts many large groups and private parties, so call ahead for reservations. Needless to add, vodka can be had.

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