At the far end of 5th Sovietskaya, on a residential street completely deserted on a cold winter's night, stands Lapland. At least, the eponymous restaurant. Upon entering, it's a great representation of a northern cabin, all light wood, high ceilings, some pelts and antlers around the rooms. Right by our table was a children's sized table with some Ikea toys to play with. They have a tasty home brew beer and a menu full of fish, game, and arctic circle berries in the sauces (cloudberry, arctic buckthorn, lingonberry - the last of which isn't quite so northern but close).
We got the bread basket, which had some unique pairings such as "gray bread" with beetroot and something I forget, maybe celery root? The butters were also doctored and tasty, I remember one had garlic and something else, the other had mushroom. We also had an amuse bouche, which usually makes me love a restaurant on the spot. It was tasty, although the server never identified it for us there was definitely a smoked fish, cmetana, and shredded beet. yum!
Terry ordered a salad with smoked rock trout for starter, and I had smoked cheese soup with venison. They were both a bit sweet for Terry but I thought they were fabulous. If only that had been my meal! We made the cardinal mistake of ordering the same main as it sounded soooo good on the menu - braised venison with mashed potatoes, sour pickles and lingonberry sauce. The sides were fine but the venison ... I'm not a texture person, but it was like eating venison-scented mush. I couldn't finish.
Things picked up at dessert, where I had the buckthorn-mint sorbet and Terry had cloudberry - mine was better. The cappuccinos were also perfect. We will definitely give it one more try, next time with different mains! One complaint - yes expensive restaurants are, well, expensive, but seriously, our bottle of water was 450 Rubles ($15). It's the $2 water at the grocery store. All other markups I forgave, but the water annoyed me.