Saturday, April 28, 2012

Paprika (Italian Restaurant)

Finding ourselves near the ботанический сад metro stop, we decided to try out another local Italian restaurant. By now it may seem like I love Italian food- I don't. At least, no more than other kinds of food. In fact, I'd settle for a big bowl of харчо or a serving of голубцы....yum! Yet there just happen to be about a billion Italian restaurants in Kharkov so we always end up at one. Today, we ended up at Paprika, a local Italian chain that surprisingly doesn't also offer sushi. (If you've been to Ukraine, you know what I mean.)
It was a beautiful day so we took advantage of the outdoor tables:
This was lovely until it became obvious that service didn't extend outdoors. So...
Again, yet another beautifully-decorated restaurant! You could probably find that phrase 10 times in this blog, but Ukraine really does take the cake for interior design. Back in the states D's mom always scoffed at going out to a restaurant: "Why pay all that money if no one's going to get dressed up and there's no orchestra? I'd rather stay at home!" I didn't understand her comment back then, but I think I do now. Going out for a meal is more of a special event here. I think people have higher expectations of the dining environment while in America we care more about the quality of service and plate size and hardly look at the walls.

Anyways....back to Paprika.... If you look in the picture above you'll notice the delicate branches painted all over the wall (and ceiling). The artist used some kind of textured paint so that the branches are actually raised and then "shadowed" by flat gray branches. And the seats were especially nice because there were soft cushy pillows attached... you could just lean back into the pillow and relax. Which I desperately needed to do after the crushing grind of this week. More on that later, ugh.

Paprika offers a business lunch from 12-4 PM weekdays. Today was Saturday but the biz lunch was still the menu option, so we went with that. I like the idea of biz lunches, it makes me feel like I'm having some important lunch instead of just chowing down like a slob :p which is usually what I'm actually doing.

L to R: Cream soup w/ seafood, salad, minestrone, Greek salad, four cheese pizza

And this thing? Yeah, this looked a little odd when it first arrived. It was called кутлеты on the menu but as you can see, it was more like a stuffed cutlet. Not bad, according to D!

During the winter we were fortunate enough to visit the second location, which is literally a 10 second walk from Freedom Square and the University metro station.

Again, really really good food. (Uh, except for the old, gnawed pizza crust remnants under our piping hot pizza. That was kind of weird, but I just brushed them out of the pizza stone's groove and kept eating. I mean, what would you do??)

Hours of operation are Mon-Fri 9 AM to 11 PM, weekends 11 AM to 11 PM. Addresses: Sumskaya St 37 (751-98-03) and Prospect Lenina 40 (757-88-98). They take Visa and offer free wi-fi and English menus.

Regulatory disclaimer from D: emergency bathroom stop was required after the biz lunch! He's making me include this for your own good!


  1. I love seeing your food pictures! And I agree on the interior decor for Ukrainian restaurants- they really go all out. I encountered quite a few theme restaurants that I got a kick out of. My favourite was the traditional Ukrainian farmyard restaurant...complete with stuffed goat, roosters, faux apple tree, and reconstructed oxen pulling (not actually pulling- just for the sake of appearance) a cart in which you can eat your supper. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I should have a couple somewhere. I'll have to track them down!

    1. Do post them somewhere if you find them! I'd love to see them