Pravda, New York, NY

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | September 15th, 2011 | Restaurant Reviews

As noted on their website, “Pravda is an underground caviar bar.”  In addition, this Russian-themed bar also has a wide variety of Russian foods and an enormous vodka list.  While a bar might seem to make a better review for our beverage publication, Parched No More, with me in attendance, there is a focus on food.  Although I enjoy a martini or two, it always needs to be accompanied by food.  Let’s just say I’m a lightweight, and keep it at that.

We arrived at Pravda at 9:00 on a warm Saturday night.  While this is early to start dinner in NYC, we were hungry after a day spent walking through 5th Avenue shops and Central Park.  The benefit to arriving early was that we got a great booth tucked into a corner.  The odd part about arriving that early was that there was a party of six, which had a baby with them.  A baby at Pravda?  Not anything I expected to encounter, nor did any of the staff it seemed.

We were seated by the host, and our waitress arrived shortly thereafter.  While she did a fine job of refilling water glasses and suggesting menu items, she seemed rather uncomfortable as a server.  Rather than approaching our table to ask how our food was or to see if we needed to order a second martini, she made awkward half-glances in our direction.  We never were hungry or thirsty, but her awkwardness made us feel a little uncomfortable.

For a caviar bar with an extensive list of vodkas, Pravda also serves fabulous food.  We chose three different appetizers to accompany our martinis and infused vodkas.  Over the course of several hours, we had delicious combinations of beverages and snacks.

Our first appetizer was a White Truffle Pizza.  If you go to Pravda, you will have to hope that this pizza is on the specials menu, as it is not a regular menu item.  The crust was thin and crispy covered with a decent amount of mozzarella.  From the moment the pizza graced our table, we knew it was ours, as the aroma of truffle emanated from the dish.  Each bite had substantial truffle flavor, making this dish my favorite of the evening.

Our second appetizer was Scrambled Eggs.  You might wonder why scrambled eggs would be served as an appetizer, at a bar, in the evening.  The reason is this: the dish is much more than scrambled eggs.  It is scrambled eggs topped with caviar and served with buttered toast points.  The tenderness of the scrambled eggs made a wonderful contrast to the salty pop of the caviar.  Eaten atop buttered toast, it was a close second.

Our third and final appetizer was comprised of two items from Pravda’s Russian Experience section of the menu.  We chose the Duck Liver Paté and Ispansky Syr (a spanish cheese, which I’m not quite certain why it was in the Russian experience section).  Regardless, this dish was a distant third, not that anything was wrong with it.  Both the paté and cheese were tasty, but they also were similar to items we can find at numerous restaurants.

After three rounds of snacks (and a beverage or two), we were quite satiated.  Pravda provided us with a night filled with great atmosphere, delectable food, and enjoyable beverages.  I’m sure we will return to this underground caviar bar.

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