371 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55102
Happy Hour: Monday-Thursday, 5-6 & 9-10 p.m., Friday-Sunday: 4-6 p.m.
Earlier this summer, Jake and I walked into Moscow on the Hill to check out their dinner menu. We decided to eat dinner elsewhere, but wanted to return for their affordable happy hour menu. Monday-Thursday, happy hour is offered between 5-6 p.m. During our visit, the restaurant was nearly empty save for a few customers at the bar and a couple other parties.
To begin, I ordered a Cherry Gimlet for $5 described as 1.5 shots of cherry vodka with lime juice.
The drink was plenty strong (for me, anyways) and puckery tart.
Jake ordered a shot of horseradish vodka, $3. I have never met an individual so crazy about the horseradish nasal burn. If you watched Jake eat sushi, you might also suspect he enjoys eating the wasabi more than the sushi itself. His sushi to wasabi ratio is about equal.
Enjoy this close-up of a pickle butt.
I stole a sip of the vodka and actually enjoyed its flavor, wishing I had ordered the bloody mary made with this vodka. I don't tolerate the horseradish burn as well as a hot pepper burn, and one sip sent my sinuses a flaming. As you might expect, Jake also loved the flavor of the vodka.
Jake and I each ordered the piroshky and borscht combo, $7.
Of all of the happy hour food we tried, the borscht was both of our favorite. The genourous serving of soup was scalding hot which was welcome on this cool evening. It contained silky cabbage, creamy chunks of potato, and beets. The broth was sweet and sour with vinigar, accented by a dollop of sour cream. Really comforting and satisfying.
The beef piroshkys also arrived piping hot.
Inside was a dry and crumbly mix of beef and other seasonings. I found the light and creamy dipping sauce to taste especially compelling. The piroshky seemed a little dry, but the frothy dill sauce really helped.
Jake had recently come home from work famished so he added a bread basket for $1.50 described as containing Russian organic rye, St. Agnes sourdough, and whipped garlic butter. To our surprise the basket also contained a dish of a vegetable dip that reminded me of a dilly caponata. The bread was fresh, having a firm crust and moist interior. The butter was pleasantly garlicky, however it was unsalted so I added a sprinkle of salt to each bite.
During happy hour, Moscow on the Hill offers small bites for $3 each. We ordered this plate of four pelmini described as "Hand-made beef and pork dumplings, sour cream." The flavor of the pelmini was mild. We both enjoyed the pelmini with the addition of white vinegar from a cruet, which was provided with the dumplings.
This creamy beet salad had an unusual musty flavor. It was described as including goat cheese, prunes, and walnuts so I am guessing the gaminess came from the goat cheese.
We also ordered this small tasting of Creamy Mushrooms "gratine in sour cream sauce with cheese." I am glad the portion was so small because the sour cream sauce was intensly thick and rich. We enjoyed sharing a few bites each and sopping the sauce up with bread, but a larger portion would have been too decadent.
Overall, we had a pleasant evening scented by lots of dill. The service was pleasant although I think our waiter was dissapointed we did not order entrees. The entrees seem pricey, but I noticed a neighboring table enjoying a colorful and generously portioned plate. We also noticed that this happy hour was fried food-less. Which was refreshing, however I am partial to fried dumplings.
I was most excited by the happy hour beverage offerings, borscht and piroshky combination (which is a meal for me), and vegetable spread that arrived with the bread basket.
Jake and I are going to Fargo this weekend to look at apartments, but hope to try Afghani pizza on Friday.