Back in the days before I could afford air-conditioning, I read somewhere that watching Dr. Zhivago was a cheap way to cool off during a humid July. This wishful tidbit of service journalism popped into my head recently while sitting at Moscow on the Hill’s renovated bar.
Ice cold vodka can chill the blood better than even the frostiest of DVDs, I suppose, but MOTH’s delicious, heavy cuisine—snails, liver, sauerkraut dumplings, mushrooms in sauce—is anything but seasonal. This is what vodka is really for: getting through a Russian meal.
Of course, on this side of the Bering Strait, where you have vodka you have martinis. Some of the best in the city are served here, my favorite being Mikhail’s Martini: Stoli Vanil, coffee vodka, and amaretto. But drinking at MOTH is all about gulping, not sipping. It has the most extensive vodka list in the city, with more than 100 labels from Russia, Poland, and Scandinavia, plus its own house infusions (the horseradish is killer). But be careful, comrades: This place is not for dilettantes. Prices are $5 to $8 a shot, and they pile up fast.
371 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-291-1236, moscowonthehill.com