By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
The desserts, like many dishes here, are Siberian-big, so consider sharing. There's a honey cake that pairs endless layers of pastry with a creamy filling, and baklava slices the size of a deck of cards. You won't leave hungry.
Once you're sated, it's time to consider another trip to the sauna. You'll be looser for your second go around and able to sit for longer. Maybe Tony is in the banya too, beating the sin out of some pour soul with a bundle of oak branches and leaves that have been soaking in almost-boiling water. Maybe there's a small child in a felt hat who somehow seems oblivious to the temperature. When the sweat flows like your skin is a sieve, it's time to endure the plunge pool, a baptism in water so cold it forces the air from your lungs in a guttural whoosh. Just try to remain silent as you drop into 42-degree water after sitting in an oven. It's impossible.
It's also invigorating. You've just eaten dishes you won't find anywhere in Dallas, in a dining room with more nudity than you'll encounter in some time. The banya isn't perfect — the robes and towels have started to fray, the felt on the pool table is worn and the restaurant occasionally closes early — but there's a likeable grit here that is lacking at the larger super spas that dot the area.
2515 East Rosemeade Parkway, Suite 401, Carrollton, 214-483-5050, russianbanyaofdallas.com. Banya open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Restaurant open noon-10 p.m. daily. $$$
Cold fish platter $15.99
Pickled vegetable platter $8.99
And there's another benefit, especially this time of year. Stepping outside with a warm vodka glow and my transgressions washed away in a deluge of sweat, I feel like I've been cast anew. Suddenly, Dallas' hottest summer day feels absolutely tolerable. Nice, even.
I wonder if that is where Teddy KGB can be found? I need a good high stakes card game to join... Russian mafia or not.
That place has been open for 7 years when nothing else has, so they must be doing something right! I would have liked to know if one can simply go for a meal without the spa experience. I remember a picture of Tony in the Carrollton paper when they featured it soon after opening; he is formidable and probably has fun running the vagrants out of the vacant shopping center in his own special Russian way.