FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

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Immersing yourself in a foreign culture is a great way to spice up date night. For an evening full of Russian romance, head to Ariana in the West Village. Step inside and be greeted by the smooth marble of the vodka bar, which serves infused versions of Russia’s drink of choice. Get the night off to a rich start with the house’s slant on a martini: Beluga Gold Line vodka stirred with a caviar lollipop. Next, you’ll get cozy in the back dining room. Chandeliers and candlelight cast you both in warm light. A panel of exposed brick adds character and reveals the building’s 19th-century origins. Meals here are meant to be shared. Lean in close and decide what updated Russian classics you’ll sample together. Velvet Borscht justifies its name with a smooth blend of beets and slow-roasted short ribs, topped with homemade crème fraiche. Stuffed cabbage entrées are hardly babushka fare: butter-poached lobster meats supple leaves of Napa beneath black caviar broth. Save a little room for blinis for dessert, layered with caramelized pineapple sugar. Pop star Ariana Grinblat, the restaurant’s creative force, designed her place with romance in mind. As you leave, you’ll be feeling the love from Russia.

Ariana

140 W Houston St New York NY 10012

(646) 678-4334

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