St. Paul >Food & Dining > Moscow On The Hill Restaurant
371 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN | Directions 5510244.946659 -93.115618
Neighborhoods: Summit - University
Happy New Year's!! – For New Year's my husband took me to dinner at Moscow On The Hill.You would expect a restaurant to be running crazy with a houseful of diners, right? We came in and were seated within 2 minutes. Our server, Larry was at the table in no time. He took our order and we had our drinks in minutes flat. The ambience was delightful with the wonderful Russian accordian music and laughter and the sound of tinkling glasses. I couldn't have imagined a more... but wait! the food! We began with the perushke. They were served quickly and were fresh and hot. We couldn't decide which we loved more, the cabbage or the beef. Loved them! Just a little while later, our main courses arrived. My husband had ordered the salmon, I had ordered the Czar's Pork Medallions. He tells me the salmon was great: moist, tasty, with wonderful potato pelmene and an exquisite (that's my word) sauce! My pork medallions were equally as tasty with a wonderful covering of cheesy sauce with steamed fresh veggies. We had a magical New Year's Eve!
To tom3636 – I would just like to say to tomd3636 that after a week long fiasco that I have been reading on line, I am appalled that you would take the time to post this review at each and every web option available.
Why if the service was so terrible did you not just ask to be reimbursed for your drinks and leave? Why did you give the restaurant 4 stars in other review sites.
I assume you won't return to MOTH.
To read the some what childish complaints of other servers being more attentive, did give me the laughs a bit. Have you not been employed at a restaurant before? In ALL larger establishments there will be a Food Runner. A person who does just as the title suggests. In all larger establishments there will also be a Busser. Whom does just as the title suggests. They bus around getting things that servers can not get to when they are running all around themselves.
At ALL Establishments there will be a Seeting Chart. This divides the areas of the restaurant into numbers and colored areas so that servers can try to stay in one area. Now sometimes this doesn't work. Say... 2 servers have left already and a second rush comes in. The Dinning rooms, (if there are many) are full and the 3rd and 4th and 5th servers may have risidual tables that were not in there assigned section. This results in a server busser and foodrunner trying to get from one area to another. All the while patrons will continue to ask the wrong person for drinks and needs that only a server may have jurisdiction to preform. So if you ask a busser or food runner for something, they have to tell their server in person as they pass by. The server has to remember return to the computer and punch it in. Now, if all this is happening and the server is asked a question by another table mid stride... Well imagine for a moment to be in the other persons shoes.
Now none of this may be an excuse for bad service. Even if one is burned out, one should explain to their tables that it is very busy and they will try to accomidate your needs even though the establishment may be understaffed. BUT... as a former server and frequent patron, I have NEVER! had bad service in my life at a restaurant. That is because when I see that a server is running all around, that the restaurat is full and the looks of stress on all the employees, I try to imagine how that person feels. Tom I am sure you have had hard days at your job and snapped or been alloof.
From this servers reponse on city search she is in her third year at Law School. Or maybe she just received news that should would illegally have to pick-up the tab for a dine-and-ditch. That's a heavy sum. And a few things that would make anyone a bit grumpy.
The saddest part of all, is that because people are to obstinate in their experiences someone is fired. And after 8 years of service. Wow.
I hope everyone can learn a lesson from this tragic story.
Tom, if that was you, if you had met a customer, or client, that had acted out against you, and your employment was put on the line, would you blame yourself or the client.
I think we all know the answer to that one.
People should be kinder and more understanding to eachother. Next time you have a complaint. I suggest you just ask for a return on your bill before you order, and leave.
LOVE THIS RESTAURANT! – My wife and I visited Moscow on the Hill for the first time last Saturday. The place was packed, but were we able to get a table with in 10 minutes. The food was fantastic, as was the service even though it was busy Saturday. And the vodka, wow. They have their own house infused flavors, which you can try in something called a vodka flight. I especially liked their horseradish vodka, which I also tried in a Bloody Mary. As I was raving about the vodka our server promptly told us that the horseradish flavor is also available in liquor stores. What a great Bloody! Either way, thanks Moscow for a great dinner experience, we will surely see you again.
Horrible Service – We went on a cold Saturday night. We had a reservation for 6:30 and arrived about 6:45 due to a tire with very low pressure that needed to be filled before we could leave. When we arrived the place was packed and the woman at the door (who we later learned was the proprietor) asked us to wait at the bar for our table. We were in no rush and found seats at the bar. Once we were seated at our table our server came over and said, "What can I get you to drink?' She had no smile, no greeting, no emotion to even make us feel welcome! After about ten minutes she brought our drinks and we had some questions about the appetizer platter and some of the other offerings on the appetizer menu. She answered our questions curtly and rudely as if to say, "How dare you ask me any questions about the menu." We ordered the appetizer platter and the escargot which arrived after about 25 minutes. In the mean time the server did not ever check back with us to see if we wanted another beverage or to apologize for the delay in the appetizers. In the mean time there was another server at most of the other tables who was constantly at his tables, taking care of his customers, smiling and going out of his way to give the service that is expected in the normal course of a meal. Our server did nothing to ever make us feel welcome or like we should even be in the restaurant. We lingered over the appetizers and took our time to order the entrees with very limited trips where the server checked back with us. We ordered dinner. We waited 50 minutes without one time seeing our server back at our table. Finally one of us went to the proprietor and told her about our poor service. She was shocked and said, "You haven't gotten your food yet?" Just then another server brought our food from the kitchen. The proprietor came over to the table and said, "I am sorry but it has been such a busy night." I told her that we waited for 50 minutes for our food with no explanation or checking back from our server. I told her how horrible the service had been. I said everyone else who had a different server was being well taken care of with no major delays. The proprietor got all defensive and instead of trying to make things better she kept saying they were busy. I told her that is no excuse especially when everyone else was getting good service and our server was basically absent all night. Then our server showed up at the table and I told her about how unhappy we were with the service. All she said was, "I am sorry you feel that way." I said, "This has nothing to do with feelings. These are facts that we received basically no service from you." She just kept on with, "I am sorry you feel that way." About ten minutes later the three of us each had a shot glass of something set down in front of us with no explanation?????? This was very odd. The food was absolutely fantastic, as always. We had to ask for our bill and another server brought that to our table. Needless to say we did not leave a tip. I am very surprised that a quality place would not be more professional in handling a very valid complaint and that the proprietor would blame it on a busy night. That server was absolutely the worst I have ever encountered. No real apologies were ever given and those three shots of vodka were a slap in the face more than anything.
Gone downhill – Food used to be great. They have become so successful, they no longer care about the quality of the food. The chicken kiev was bland - nothing to it; anyone could make it. However, there may be hope for the desserts. The Napoleon was delicious - fresh, creamy, well done! Please return to the standards you once had which made it a delight to eat at Moscow on the Hill.
I was contemplating with myself as to where I should break up with my girlfriend. After much deliberation I informed that Moscow on the Hill would be an excellent place to end this sour relationship. I originally thought that the 300 various vodkas would make the break up less painful on both of us. However, fate played a "cruel" joke on both of us. The romantic ambiance, exquisite food, excellent drinks, and friendly service helped me to overcome my frustration and disappointment in my current relationship. We started of the night with the ever so popular 6 shots of homemade vodka, Moscow Flight. The Chef's selection for the appetizer platter (which included the most popular russian "Zakuski" such as blini, russian sausage, and beet salad) was a success and great compliment to the vodka flight. The beef stroganoff was absolutely phenomenal. The dish was rich and flavorful in taste, creamy and tender in texture, and nostalgic memories of my grandma's cooking. After looking at her Siberian Style Pelmeni (meat dumplings) which was perfect in every sense, I knew I had to try it. Suddenly, I realized that's what life should be about: good drinks, good food, and my girlfriend. During the meal we were able to overcome our differences and stay together. Moscow saved my relationship.
Atmosphere, service, and vodka – While I admit a lack of experience with the actual entrée menu (Russian cuisine doesn't offer much for vegetarians), every aspect of Moscow on the Hill that I've seen has been exceptional. The service was impeccable; I found my server both professional and friendly as we explored the drink list for the first time. When asking about certain substitutions, suggestions, and more I have never felt more comfortable and at ease. Of course, the vodka list is superb. The environment on the patio on a breezy summer night was excellent. Be sure to check out happy hour where house vodkas and draft beers are half priced, appetizers are $3, and certain cocktails are $5.
Fine Russian provender – My wife and I and another couple dined here a recent Saturday night. It was an altogether pleasant experience. Here's what we consumed: An appetizer of cured herring accompanied by wonderful garlic-dill fried, whole red potatoes (Russians know potatoes); a fine version of borscht; a salmon special with scallops; walleye "Baikal" with a wine tarragon sauce; and peasant-style pelmeni (Siberian dumplings filled with beef and pork topped with mushroom-cheese sauce and broiled). All were excellent. There is, as one would expect, a wide variety of vodkas, and vodka "flights" are offered for those who want to sample different bottles. The service was friendly and efficient, and the ambience was properly Russian. And, an increasing rarity in the Metro area: the noise level did not prohibit conversation among us. A minor complaint is that there was no (recorded) Russian music - balalaika would be good; rather, there was some sort of American pop music, rather muted, fortunately. I was told that some nights there are accordion players. Visitors might want to check on that. (Russian accordion music is far better than, say, Lawrence Welk accordion music.)
This is a very good restaurant for very tasty and well-priced hearty Russian food. Don't go here for low-fat, low-calorie preparations. Forget about that kind of thing and just go for a very satisfying experience.
Loved the Borscht! – This was our first visit to Moscow on the Hill and we were very pleased. Attentive wait staff, nicely seasoned food and reasonable prices for a city restaurant. The borscht had just the right tang, big chunks of potato and grated beet with chopped fresh dill. The tables were just far enough apart to give you some privacy and you could hear the people at your own table even with a large party nearby. The Vareniki and the Siberian Palmeni were very good with just right fried onions and a large dollop of sour cream. The portions were large enough to take home some leftovers. Skip the blintzi if you're used to the type that has farmer's cheese or jam. These were fruit-cream filled with an unneccessary chocolate drizzle. We'll try the white russian tiramisu next time.
Good, expensive food – We went here with a gift certificate, which was fortunate because the prices are NOT cheap. Good food, DH had a stuffed chicken entree and I had lamb pastries (can't remember the Russian names.) Loved the accordian player. They do need to block the entry better- the dining room was freezing everytime someone opened the door. Since it was a busy night, it was open almost constantly, and I was sitting almost in the kitchen.
Be warned-this is not the restaurant to go to if you are a vegetarian or kosher! I had a hard time finding an entree that didn't have pork in it.
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