Since the closing of the westside’s Tverskaya, local diners have been at a loss for authentic Russian cuisine. But after an extended hiatus, those restaurateurs are back with a different name and location: Cafe Mayakovsky in the former Carluccio’s Tivoli Gardens. And this time, they’re serving alcohol.
The menu is similar to the previous one, and the food is as good as before. Miniature cabbage rolls stuffed with ground pork and beef swimming in a tomato-based sauce, golubtsy ($7), are a hearty treat, while the house-made vereniki ($6) dumplings rival those found in Chinatown. Even better are pelmeni ($7), meat-filled raviolis delivered with a dollop of the ubiquitous sour cream and dill. Be adventurous and try the herring ($9), a cold dish rife with dill, accompanied by potatoes, hard-boiled egg and onions. It’s sublime.
In terms of drinks, of course a variety of vodka is offered by the shot or bottle, fitting in consideration of the Eastern European dance-hall vibe of the space. Mayakovsky also serves a rotation of house-made infusions ($6), and during recent visits a mellow cranberry was available, alongside a more cloying raspberry. Both flowed freely and drank smoothly, but if you prefer beer, an assortment of easy-drinking Baltikas ($5) are available. Pick your poison and pig out on pelmeni!
Cafe Mayakovsky 1775 E. Tropicana Ave. #30, 702-247-8766. Daily, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.