Hammer & Sickle

Bold Russian cuisine

From ethereal to earthy, Russian food runs the gamut. Caviar at Uptown’s new Hammer & Sickle comes with two crepe-like blini, two bone spoons that make you imagine the baby czarita in a jewel-encrusted high chair, and a forest of little pickled things—the briny black pearls are gone in minutes. On the other end of the spectrum is a hearty plate of Siberian pelmeni—rough, brutish lumps of dough and ground meat. They have sustained the proletariat for generations and will stick with you almost as long. The rest of the menu covers the full spectrum: spears of meat or vegetables called shashlik (try the juicy beef); thick-crusted chicken Kiev that spurts an herby river of butter; rich, lemony, and unabashedly unauthentic lobster stroganoff; and the fat half-moon dumplings called pirogi—some familiar in Moscow, others, like the chorizo-filled, not so much. Wash it all down with vodka straight up. Na zdarovie! • hammerandsicklempls.com