Tuesday, January 8, 2008

russia house isn't horrible

That's right. You just read that. Yes, I have just uncharacteristically broken my tough love rule and typed something (slightly) uplifting about this godforsaken city of ours. But in keeping with my theme, allow me to add that Russia House, a lounge type venture near Dupont, is not exactly galactically tight or anything. Instead, it's better to think of it as simply "not subpar."

Actually, think of it like this: If Russia House was a group project in high school, it'd probably earn about a B- or so. However, I'm not the type to let a few asshat underachieving students bring down the grades of those who happen to be more intellectually gifted (yes, it's called a grudge), so allow me to recognize the A students.

Russia House has quite a few things going for it, not least of which is the some 90+ vodkas it offers up in a moody, candle-lit setting (romantical!). The cocktails there are also pretty tight (albeit slightly pricey for DC at around $10+, which I suppose makes it more like Moscow, the most expensive city in the world, where cocktails can be found for over $25). And if the vodka drinks aren't invitation enough for you non-alcoholics out there (are you out there?), maybe this will entice you: Russian techno blares from the speakers!

Huh-WHAT?! You aren't into Russian techno??? OK, neither am I -- well, at least not the specific kind favored by Russia House. And come to think of it, if Russia House were indeed located in Moscow, you can bet that I'd sure as hell never go there, but, look, we're in DC and beggars can't be choosers. (Yes, that's right. I've discovered that the key to living happily in DC is simply to lower your standards.)

So, taking "DC standards" into account, I'd give Russia House an A for beverage selection, an A- for atmosphere (it'd have received an A had the music been less, well, this) and an A for service.

However, what brought the whole grade down was the crowd (a solid D). Unlike real Russian clubs whose patrons often range from, um, this to, uh, this, Russia House's customers fell into a much drabber category, lacking the edge that makes Moscow clubs -- from the retardulous to the gnarly -- so fascinating. In other words, the crowd, which at least featured some authentic Eastern Bloc expats, was pretty middle-of-the-road (read: boring -- save, of course, for the people with whom I went. Duh.).

But, hey, since I'm apparently looking on the bright less dim side of things today, I'll end with telling you that indeed I will return to Russia House even if I know there's no chance of running into this.* (That guy's shit is tight.)

*Thanks, by the way, to Moscow Doesn't Believe In Tears for keeping us all updated on what we're missing in Moscow after dark.

Russia House
1800 Connecticut Ave., NW
Metro: Dupont Circle


John said...


Righteous (re)Style said...

Have you heard about this website: http://www.to4ka.com.

I need to show those pix from the clubs to my parents - I think that it would be beyond their imagination. (We came here in the early 80s, so it was, obviously, incredibly different then.)

John said...

if you really want to see some crazy shit, check out this blog: http://moscowdoesntbelieveintears.blogspot.com/

Marissa said...


I read that blog religiously! And link to it like 100 times in this post. It makes me miss Moscow and all its ridiculousness.