Polet Cafe: Affordable Luxury
Polet Café // 7 Ulitsa Pestelya // Tel. 917 1747 // Open daily from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. // Meal for two with alcohol: 1,810 rubles ($52.70)
Published: July 16, 2014 (Issue # 1820)
Recently opened and rather unnoticeably tucked away at 7 Ulitsa Pestelya, Polet café is a very modern and hip establishment that offers a casual dining experience perfect for small to medium gatherings. Additionally, the café is within comfortable walking distance of some of St. Petersburg’s most iconic tourist attractions, including the Church on Spilled Blood and the Summer Garden.
The interior of the café is, as my companion keenly noted, nothing special. On the other hand, the simplicity of its modern design and décor, complimented by a small wine bar tucked away in the back corner, create a very simple yet inviting interior. There is a noticeable amount of empty space among the surprisingly limited amount of seating. However, it becomes somewhat unnoticeable and in practice, even useful: a medium-sized gathering saw fit to use the space as standing room for socializing over cocktails.
As far as drinks are concerned, Polet offers a limited selection of cocktails, beers and wines. The average price for a glass of wine is 240 rubles ($6.99) while most cocktails and beers were similarly priced. Much like the décor, the menu is simple and to the point. While lacking any descriptive texts of each dish, the menu serves as exactly what the café claims itself to be: a blend of Italian and Russian cuisine, offering an array of dishes ranging from a classic four cheese pizza (420 rubles, $12.23) to borsch and mushroom cream soup (290 and 260 rubles, $8.44 and $7.57, respectively).
Pasta is also not in short supply at Polet. The penne with salmon (360 rubles, $10.48) includes a generous portion of penne pasta topped with small pieces of salmon and bathed in a tomato cream sauce. Both the penne and salmon were cooked to perfection and smothered in the light, flavorful sauce. The romaine salad is very reasonably priced at 370 rubles ($10.78). Crisp leaves of romaine lettuce are complimented by slices of fresh cherry tomatoes topped with smoked salmon. While unremarkable in and of itself (and, noticeably, without any dressing to speak of) the ingredients were extremely fresh.
To complement both of the aforementioned dishes, the grilled vegetables garnish (190 rubles, $5.53) and flatbread with pesto (170 rubles, $4.95) were delectable and would certainly compliment any dish on the menu. While the desert menu offered very few choices, the “sbrisalona” (230 rubles, $6.70), a small portion of cake-like pastries served with a small bucket of sweet cream sauce, was an undistinguished but pleasant choice to close out the meal.
Short of the very reasonably priced dishes and casual atmosphere, there is nothing that especially distinguishes Polet. Yet, this is what is so attractive about the dining experience at Polet cafe: simplicity and modernity are the most pronounced aspects of the café, complimented by a casual atmosphere and flavorful dishes. Without a doubt, Polet café is a surefire choice for anyone looking for a casual and inexpensive yet enjoyable dining experience.