Last weekend, Tyler and I did a bit of shopping and took advantage of the beautiful, albeit cold, weather. Whenever even a hint of blue skies begin to appear, we run out the door with our hats and mittens and soak it up for as long as possible, or at least until the sun begins to set at 2:18pm.
It's been snowing pretty consistently, and so people are always out in the morning, brushing off their cars and chipping away at the ice. Kids have it best of all, often being pulled on small sleds through the city by their doting parents.
We've been eagerly awaiting the opening of a new restaurant above our favorite bakery and since returning from St. Petersburg, we noticed it was finally open. It's called Granat which translates to Pomegranate. I wasn't joking around when I said Tyler and I were having cravings for it.
I was pleasantly surprised by the decor. It was modern, warm, and eclectic. We sat among squishy pillows and felt like we were at a friend's house, rather than a restaurant.
The waitstaff wore purple paisley shirts with jeans, denim aprons, and white Converse. They were friendly and the service was great.
We started with the obligatory pot of tea.
I followed up with a chicken caesar salad (they do those really well in Russia for some reason).
Tyler and I split a tashkent non, which is a traditional Uzbek bread. It was amazing! I'd go back just for a basket of this homemade, still warm indulgence. It was chewy and flaky in all the right places. I'm going to do some research and try to make my own.
Tyler's salad was really unique and delicious. It consisted of veal, cooked green onions, and pomegranate seeds. Who would have thought?
I ordered a soup as my main dish. It was fine, but nothing special. In it were pelmeni (Russian dumplings), beef, and vegetables, in a beef broth, with a side of sour cream.
Tyler ordered "manti" which are Turkish dumplings. They are very similar to pelmini in texture and looks. It came with a dill sauce. Tyler was a bit disappointed with the portion size, but we made up for it later with dessert.
We'd like to go back to try some other dishes. We noticed a lot of people ordered shashlik (meat grilled on a skewer). I'm really thrilled with the opening of Granat. It might just turn out to be our new neighborhood haunt.
We couldn't very well go home without something sweet, so we decided to go to another local bakery to pick up one of our favorite guilty pleasures. In order to get there, we had to walk through the forest and by the hockey stadium, where they were hosting tryouts.
The bakery sells only the local Syktyvkar brand of breads, cookies, crackers, and dough.
The store space is tiny and people line up to pay for their weekly loaf of bread.
We ended the day with a fierce game of scrabble, catching up with friends back home, and watching movies. Not a bad way to spend a lazy Sunday.