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July 6, 2005
La Strada's decor is meant to evoke the feeling of sitting at a table on a rustic Italian side street. Seating is available surrounding the pizza preparation area or on a small Florentine balcony overlooking the main floor. A semi-cylindrical glass ceiling, referred to as the crystal cupola, runs the entire length of the long, narrow restaurant. While adding natural light to the eatery's intimate atmosphere, it unfortunately creates a hot and humid climate akin to dining in a greenhouse. I'm not sure adding solar heat to a brick oven environment was a stroke of architectural brilliance.
The waitstaff are exceptionally friendly, and they are quick to prepare and provide your made-to-order pizza. My family and I decided upon simple toppings of pepperoni and plain cheese, but there are more exotic choices like the Pizza La Strada, which is covered with fresh seafood. If pizza is not to your liking, alternative Italian dishes such as vegetarian lasagne, carpaccio, baked potatoes, or a selection of cheeses, as well as a salad bar, are tasty menu options.
La Strada is also a very "kid-friendly" place with a children's nursery and opportunities for catered birthday celebrations. I personally took advantage of the children's ice cream menu as a reward for completing my lunch in lieu of the highly-touted tiramisu.
If you find yourself tiring of traditional Russian meals, La Strada's Italian fare is not a bad choice for cleansing your palette. In my opinion, sampling the foreign offerings of ethnic food is equal in importance to partaking in a country's national dishes. Besides, were I given a choice between beer and pizza versus vodka and caviar, I'd definitely be pledging my allegiance to the Italians.
From journal Late May in St. Petersburg
Birchircara, Malta Majjistral, Malta
December 10, 2004
The ambience inside Restaurant La Strada is typical of a medium-sized eatery in Florence. Constructed to represent an Italian side street, this restaurant has a splendid dome-like glass ceiling through which natural light penetrates and reaches all corners. To add to the atmosphere, a stairway leads from the ground floor to a surrounding Italian-style balcony. The ground floor passage between table rows is decorated with street lamps standing on wrought iron poles, typical of an Italian piazza. The well-manicured trees on the sides and the paintings on the walls representing village house doors add to the Italian ambience.
This restaurant has a very good location, just a couple of minutes away from the west end of Nevsky prospekt. Line 3 of the metro stops at Nevsky prospekt station located a stone's throw away from the Griboedova canal. From here, walk west for about 100 metres until you reach Bolshaya Konyushennaya ulitsa on your right. Walk along this street for about 50 metres. Restaurant La Strada is on your left. Alternatively, you can take Bus 1 or Bus 22 from any stop on Nevsky prospekt and stop in front of Kazan Cathedral.
The menu is mostly based on Italian food but a good selection of cheese and meat dishes are also available. Their buffet salad bar presents an extensive assortment of plain, cheese and tuna salads. However, it is where Italian fare is concerned that La Strada excels. The menu lists a good range of delicious Italian soups, more than 20 different types of pizza and a vast selection of pasta and risotto dishes. Try their mouth-watering aubergine soup or their delicious vegetarian lasagne with spinach, herbs and ricotta. Or why don't you taste their ravioli stuffed with peppered cheese and served with tomato sauce? The authentic pizza served at La Strada is definitely first-class. Prepared by an Italian pizzaiolo in full view of customers and baked in an open wood oven, it is one of the best you can find in St.Petersburg. Try their pizza marinara, topped with a rich selection of unusual seafood or pizza La Strada, topped with salmon steak, aubergines and green pepper.
Restaurant La Strada has a good selection of fine wines, mostly imported from Italy. They aren't cheap however; a bottle of Chardonnay Trentino costs more than US$15. Popular brands of beer such as Pilsner and Carlsberg are also available on tap and cost about US$4 per litre. Finish off your meal with a slice of chocolate gateaux or an Italian-style fruit ice-cream.
Restaurant La Strada can be booked for special private parties such as children's birthdays or wedding anniversaries. When such private functions are on, you can still dine here.
It opens daily from noon until the last customer leaves.
From journal There's nowhere like St.Petersburg