The most benign tentacle of the (possible) Russian invasion of the USA, this is the first of American outlet of large, Moscow-based chain of blini-terias. For those who have never had them, a blini is like a French crepe, but with a bit more heft. Here they come stuffed with everything from roasted pork and swiss cheese to smoked salmon and salmon caviar. At lunch, specials allow diners to combine a cup of borscht (beet soup), a blini and a drink for just $8.95. Though this is a counter-service joint, the eatery is pleasant-looking and spacious enough for a dignified pre-Madison Square Garden (or Penn Station) meal.
- Pauline Frommer