Restaurant "Idiot", St. Petersburg 06-2013

Idiot is an unusual name for any type of business including a restaurant. It's actually a reference to Dostoevsky - it's quite common that places in Russia have reference to a writer or poet and if you are ignorant (like me) you wouldn't even know it.

Inside is a lovely cosy restaurant and there were many families inside. Books and shelves filled the place and my chosen dining area looked like the perfect study place, where someone like Dostoevsky could have done his best work. It's supposedly well known for being vegetarian (pescetarian to be precise) but some meats have since popped up to cater to everybody.

A ridiculous amount of bread with several swirls of butter were brought to start with. Maybe it's a set amount but for 1 person (as much as I like carbohydrates) even that was excessive. After sampling a bit I saved them more for the soup.

- Borsch with sour cream - there's a hot and a cold option. Having tried both I'm much more partial to a piping hot bowl with sour cream and vegetables riddled through. The flavour was a little less deep considering no meat stock but still very good;
- Beef stroganoff with wild mushrooms, onions, cream sauce (with mashed potatoes, salty cucumbers, chopped parsley) - quite an unattractive dish with reasonable beef, creamy sauce and mash. The cucumber added variety and the "chopped parsley" is a bit of an exaggeration.

I'll happily go back and have the borsch and try some other dishes. In particular it really is the relaxing and well designed setting that would bring me back inside another world so unexpected from the veneer.