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St. Petersburg's Edgy Revival

Inside the LowFat Studio showroom in St. Petersburg.

Photo: Frank Herfort

Eat

A decade after chef-entrepreneur Aram Mnatsakanov opened his groundbreaking modern Italian restaurant Probka (5 Ul. Belinskogo; 7-812/273-4904; dinner for two $85), the Russian cognoscenti still maintain an insatiable appetite for haute-global cuisine. In-the-know Petersburgers craving Indian head to sultry Botanika (7 Ul. Pestelya; 7-812/272-7091; dinner for two $50) for vegetarian samosas and ginger-spiked dal, and interiors courtesy of local designer—and cult DJ—Alexei Haas. Meanwhile, prolific restaurant group Ginza Project has launched three notable hot spots. Terrassa (3 Kazanskaya Ul.; 7-812/937-6837; dinner for two $68), a glass-walled space next to Kazan Cathedral, serves a mix of Italian, Thai, and Russian dishes (chicken-liver risotto, tom yum soup, and marinated herring share top billing on the eclectic menu). At the Asian-fusion Lujaika (16 Aptekarsky Prospekt; 7-812/324-7094; dinner for two $51), or “lawn” in Russian, the theme is whimsical wonderland: the restaurant’s pet rabbits roam the grounds, and children can fish in a pond surrounded by open-air dining cabanas. Across town, riverboat restaurant Volga-Volga (Petrovsky Nab., Dock 1; 7-812/900-8338; dinner for two $68) trolls the Neva serving up views of the golden spires of the Peter and Paul Fortress while handsome waiters bring on the mâche salad with seared tuna and sturgeon soup.

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