Rasputin Vodka Bar

This week on a very rainy Monday, Kinnon and I headed to the opening party for a new bar in Leslieville, Rasputin Vodka Bar.

No the food community has not come hip to my influence, the invitation sort of came by chance. A few weeks prior I was there with Kinnon and Jenny (during the bar’s “soft opening”). We were essentially the only people there, and as we were finishing the server asked if we wanted to attend the official opening.

The bar itself is furnished in many antique items, large ornate couches and chairs, some lower tables and of course the large party table at the back. It is dark and is lit by candles, adding a certain aspect of romance. The glasses to lent themselves to a feeling of going back in time, with the old style champagne glass you see above. The napkins however, had Kahlua printed on them (maybe they were being eco-friendly?). The music too is slightly odd considering the atmosphere, Michael Jackson, Brittney? But it worked to keep the energy up.

On to the most important part, the drinks! The drink menu is several pages long and offers variations on vodka drinks (naturally) but also some imported beers and wines. In my two visits I really only sampled the basics. The drink you see above it called the “Ahh (ohh?) those Russians” and is a small glass of sparkling wine with a vodka shot and a side of pickle. Yes, pickle. The pickle actually pairs quite well, same principle as the salt, lemon, tequila idea.

I also tried the Rasputin size Martini (3 oz!). I never really went in for straight martini’s before, but I have to say I may have converted. Perhaps it is the middle season we are in, still cold, but now sunny. The martini warmed me up without weighing me down. Olive garnish and again with a side of pickle!

They currently don’t have their food selections printed on the menu, but I do hope that will change as the food was quite tasty. They follow the same sort of platter idea as the Comrade down the street. These ones though focus on somewhat heartier fare, lots of cured meats, breads and Bellini’s. Not full meals but enough to satiate.

All in all the place is fun, though with patio season around the corner I am not sure how it will fare. It feels more like a winter spot to hang. Definitely worth checking out, just make sure you bring your big fur hat.


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