If you want to learn as much as possible about the restaurant “Alexandrovsky”, then you will not find a better way than to ask about it from its manager Vitaly Zhirov. After all, Vitaly is a real encyclopedia of restaurant art!
Vitaly, your restaurant literally from the first days became loved and popular with a fairly spoiled and capricious Odessa audience. How can you explain this success?
I think that this is primarily due to the concept of the restaurant and its location. He is in an old mansion in the historical part of the city, where at all times lived the urban aristocracy, which, as you know, knew good food.
That’s why we were visited by the idea to recreate the atmosphere of that epoch, to find old recipes for dishes, to breathe new life into them and offer the guests of the Alexandrovsky restaurant!
And what does this atmosphere mean for you?
For me, it primarily means a special attitude to food and to the service. Food should be the best (but not necessarily overseas!) Products, the best way is cooked. And the service should be so good that you should not notice it.
From which side the waiter approaches, how he will give you coffee, appliances, bring a dish, take an order from it, depends very much and a lot in the perception of the restaurant guest. This is a very complex process, connected with psychology, with live communication with various people. For a restaurant of our level, this is very important!
You say “our level”. Restaurant “Alexandrovsky” is an expensive restaurant for the elite?
In no case! I generally do not accept this approach! In our restaurant all guests are treated with the same respect and attention regardless of whether you ordered a banquet for 100 people or came with a girl for a romantic dinner!
In addition, the bill for food will pleasantly surprise you, because most of our dishes, as well as in the 19th century, are made from local products. Of course, alcohol is quite another matter – we have a great selection of wines from different parts of the world and here your choice directly depends on your financial capabilities. And as for the food, I’ll repeat it once again – it’s a restaurant for everyone who knows food!
And can you tell me more about your menu?
Of course! Once again – our menu is created on the basis of culinary traditions of the Russian aristocracy, which formed as a combination of domestic and French cuisines. Many of the dishes of the restaurant are culinary classics, while others are recreated according to old recipes.
Guests from the first day of a very positive attitude to the menu, which, by the way, in the restaurant business does not always happen.
We decided not to include in the menu any abstruse dishes and make it as clear as possible for our guests – Olivier, Pozharsky cutlet, buckwheat porridge with porcini mushrooms. Dishes at first glance are simple, but there are few where they are able to cook given all the subtleties of cooking!
And what will Vitaly Zhirov personally recommend to his guests?
Well, first of all – all our food is delicious! And secondly, I would divide our menu into two parts:
Just very successful and popular dishes (also Olivier) and dishes that characterize the restaurant.
For example, I strongly recommend trying sterlet in pairs of champagne, which is cooked entirely and served with caviar.
And there is a Alexandrovskaya cutlet with truffle pasta and fuagra, which is served with mashed potatoes with moistened tomatoes. Believe it is not just tasty, but very tasty!
We daily bake branded pies: with cabbage, meat, liver, egg onions. In order to learn how to make such pies, we specifically invited a man from St. Petersburg who taught us all the subtleties of real pies! As a result – now they come to us specially for pies and buy them whole boxes!
And what about sweet tooth?
And how! For sweet tooth we have a dessert menu! I recommend that you try a Swiss chocolate dessert with truffles. I assure you, this is hardly a dessert where you try!
Who are your competitors?
We do not compete with anyone. In Odessa there are decent restaurants and one of them is our restaurant. Restaurant “Alexandrovsky” has its own face – this is the most important thing!
And why do guests come to your restaurant?
As in any other restaurant – first of all for impressions and mood! And they get it from us, because they come back to us!
Your aim? Does the restaurant have an “Alexandrovsky” goal?
Of course! And very ambitious! I would like guests visiting Odessa to consider their compulsory program along with a visit to the Potemkin Stairs and the Opera House, a visit to the Alexandrovsky restaurant!