People: LM, MS and myself
Feelings: Who could really say no to $8.99 Russian lunch special in Midtown? Uncle Vanya is a hidden gem conveniently located across the street from a police precinct in case you had one too many vodkas. With relaxing atmosphere and bar at the front, this dimly lit simple spot welcomes Russians as well as adventurous midtown workers.
The service was rather slow as only one guy was working all the tables, but I somehow did not mind under this unusual, almost dingy-sexy ambiance. The lunch special is served from noon to 3pm and consists of a choice of salad, soup or borscht and one entree. The bread was pillowy soft, and we were pretty much just satisfied with the bread basket and carrot salad that was heavily seasoned with garlic, lemon juice and mayo.
LM and I ordered "Village Appetizer," home fried potatoes with mushrooms and onions, which was flavorful with fresh ingredients and delightful dollop of sour cream. MS also enjoyed her Pelmini, warm dumplings, saying that she would certainly come back here with her boyfriend.
The quality of the dishes was much better and more authentic than I had expected, considering the price and the location. This type of dark, kitschy restaurant is rather ubiquitous in East Village, but it is indeed a rare find in Midtown. So if your office days are rather dull, why not head out to Uncle Vanya for a little fun culinary adventure?