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XXXX Baltika Brew: Beer OClock

XXXX Baltika Brew // 11A Kamenoostrovsky Prospekt // Tel. 644 4446 // Open daily from 11 a.m. until the last customer // Meal for two with alcohol: 1,648 rubles($47.91)

Published: July 2, 2014 (Issue # 1818)




  • Photo: VK.com

XXXX Baltika Brew is in a large brick building hidden in the back of a courtyard that abuts Kamenoovstrovsky Prospekt on the Petrograd Side. Its size and entrance are more reminiscent of a nightclub than brewery but once through the doors, one enters a large room that incorporates the structures original building material with some modern touches, most apparent in the large bar in the center of the palatial room.

The menu is essentially upscale bar food with a few touches of elegance. The appetizers and snacks on offer range from the simpler BBQ chicken wings (380 rubles, $11.30) to an Australian bass ceviche (490 rubles, $14.60), which most would consider a questionable choice in most places specializing in alcohol.

As for the alcohol, beer is the drink of choice and the craft beers all start at 250 rubles ($7.45) for a pint. The choices range from a Chocolate Stout to a Nordic Kolsch, a Cherry beer to a Belgian Brune and American-style IPA. The only non-craft beer available is non-alcoholic Carlsberg.

The beer menu also gives you a description of each drink that surpasses what I could possibly write about the noble beverage. For example, the Belgian Brunes monastery yeast created a powerful front of dried fruit (raisins, prunes, dried cherries) and a lingering spicy and wine aroma. The caramel wheat beer, on the other hand, uses shades of bread crust formed by the use of caramel malt, which only supports but does not cover the yeast character weitz.

Unfortunately, the food menus descriptions are not accorded the same poetic account even though the aforementioned wings are an exercise in high-class: before you dig in, a large bowl of lemon-infused water is offered to dip your hands in once the sauce coats your fingers in spices and grease. Like in high-end restaurants as well, the portions are far too small and are to be savored instead of filling.

There is a sizable seafood section that includes lobster tails, fried pike and mussels (available only Thursday through Sunday). The grilled salmon with vegetable gratin (690 rubles, $20.50) is an example of the brewerys attempt to be more than just the local bar. Served on a huge plate, the skinny piece is topped with sauce and served alongside a mound of sliced and diced vegetables. It is well cooked, with a nice crust that adds a bit of crunch to the otherwise soft fish, and the taste is enhanced by the addition of the flavorful sauce.

The brewburger (490 rubles, $14.60) is wrapped in paper on yet another wooden block and comes with a bucket of fries and a small bowl of ketchup. The first bite into the meat patty oozes juice that soaks the bread and assorted vegetables between the buns smothered in mustard. Its superior to most bar burgers and, while pricey, its worth the price. The only moment of hesitation while eating it was when I found a piece of tin foil still attached to one of the pickle slices, which raises a lot of questions about the kitchen I dont want answered.

In all, XXXX Baltika Brew is a place for the person who truly loves beer. Unlike the citys cheaper establishments, this is not the place you come to drink in excess. Its a restaurant where you can enjoy well-made beers along with well-made food that both pays tribute to its boozy inspirations and improves upon it. Not for the drinker on a budget, XXXX Baltika Brew is the perfect place if youre looking to treat yourself.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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