Mari Vanna may sound strangely like Marijuana, but it’s the DC branch of a well-known Russian restaurant with locations in Moscow and Saint Petersburg (as well as NY, LA, and London). It is an absolutely beautifully decorated place that will transport you straight to Russia, with delicious and authentic Russian food to boot. We started with pirozhki (delicious meat-filled fried buns) and pelmeni (Russian dumplings). The drinks menu is extensive and features a wide range of infused vokdas- I stayed away from the fruity ones and ordered cucumber and dill, which was refreshing. I also tried my dad’s horseradish vodka which had a great kick to it. For my main, I ordered the perfectly tender golden duck with a delightfully tangy sour cherry sauce and cabbage on the side. My dessert, sour cherry dumplings, was certainly interesting. I can’t say it was decadent enough for my taste for a dessert, but I appreciated its unique Russianness. A small glass of Armenian Ararat brandy, on the other hand, made for the perfect digestif. I highly recommend Mari Vanna for its beautiful and cozy ambiance and authentic Russian food.
Mari Vanna is located at 1141 Connecticut Avenue NW.