Saturday, August 30, 2014
 
Follow sptimesonline on Facebook Follow sptimesonline on Twitter Follow sptimesonline on RSS
MOST READ



PARTNER NEWS



BLOGS



OPINION



WHERE TO GO?

The Romanovs in St. Petersburg

History of St. Petersburg Museum

Small Tragedy, Fatal Passion

Rimsky-Korsakov Apartment Museum

 

  Print this article Print this article

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

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



Times Talk