Mari Vanna

From Russia with Love

Caviar and Vodka Just Below Dupont

Ab1ba4751d793e32c62daf96573d19b9e63ae3896 PhotosMari Vanna
Dupont Circle and the Arctic Circle: not really very similar at all. Well, except for the inviting, babushka-like retreats—complete with karaoke and vodka—that you can now find near both.

So say hi to Mari Vanna, a cozy, three-level spot that puts the “mother” in Mother Russia, now open for drinks (and taking reservations for dinner service starting next Thursday).

Named after a fairy-tale grandmother (and supposedly a Bill Clinton favorite in NYC), this looks like the kind of place where Peter would have unwound after vanquishing the wolf—peeling wallpaper, cupboards stuffed with tchotchkes and lace chandeliers.

You’ll want to start out at a high-top by the first-floor bar, or maybe in the lavish second-floor dining room (they call it the Imperial Suite). There, you and that anti-Putin protester you met at the rally will expand your horizons eastward with veal dumplings, cured herring in a jar and black caviar.

By then, it’ll be getting late. You’ll hear music. You’ll follow it upstairs to find disco balls, Russian vinyl records on the walls, a cocktail bar and a DJ booth. Yes, it’s karaoke time.

For that, you’ll need some vodka. Happily, it comes in decanters, either straight up with all kinds of pickles or infused with honey, blackberry or horseradish.

Horseradish vodka. Giddyap.

Vitals

Mari Vanna
1141 Connecticut Ave NW
(at M St NW)
Washington, DC 20036
202-783-7777
website

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