One cold morning, my honey, George, met me in the city for lunch. Russian Tea Time is one of our favorite restaurants. It’s within a healthy walk of the Metra station, and as it happens, just around the corner from National Lewis University, where I’m taking classes.
I turned the corner and George as right there, in front of Russian Tea Time’s red awning, waving his long arms and grinning. Out of the brisk, bright daylight, we soon felt like royalty, greeted by Chef-Owner, Klara Muchnik, who guided us to a quiet, roomy table. Sometimes a two-top barely allows enough room for a cup of tea, and George’s wide shoulders can extend beyond the edge of the tabletop, so we both appreciated the room to spread out and relax.
Russian Tea Time is an intimate dining experience. It’s quiet, relaxing, and oh, so pampering. The Russian music, warm lighting, and elegant table service soon made us forget the frigid weather outside. Children are welcome, but probably only the more adventurous will appreciate the food or the atmosphere. And be forewarned; there are no chicken nuggets or grilled cheese here.
I took the lead and chose a couple of platters for the two of us. I heartily recommend this approach, if you are an adventurous first-timer. When the cold vegetable platter arrived, George looked at it doubtfully.
“Will this be enough for both of us?” I sip my Russian tea and gave him what I think was a mini-scowl.
We dug into the Eggplant Orientale, Beet Caviar, Cabbage Apple Salad, Vinaigrette Salad, Tashkent Carrot, Babaganouj, Hummus, and Tabouli. I tried to stay cognizant of George’s hunger and took just a nibble or two of the colorful tasties, except for the Tabouli — I love Tabouli. Oh, and maybe the Hummus, which was wonderful; and I had to have just one more small spoonful of Beet Caviar.
George looked quite satisfied when the Russian Tea Time Platter for Two arrived: meat dumplings, stuffed mushrooms, beef stroganoff, stuffed cabbage, Moldavian meatballs, chicken pozharski, rice pilaf and kasha. It was all so good, we had no room for desert.
Located at 77 East Adams Street, Russian Tea Time is within walking distance of the theatre district, just around the corner from the Art Institute and not far from the Field Museum of Natural History. That day, despite the chill, we crossed the street to Millennium Park to walk off some of those delicious calories. This is one exotic little adventure that I highly recommend.