St. Petersburg–born Vitalii Kovalev (Mari Vanna) retools the food of his homeland at this 80-seat West Village eatery, modernizing rustic Russian standbys like borscht (with short ribs, crème fraîche and oxtail stock) and stuffed cabbage (butter-poached lobster in black-caviar broth). At a marble bar inside the 2,000-square-foot space, Apothéke barman Orson Salicetti spotlights Russia's poison of choice, vodka, in cocktails like the Khurma (persimmon, apple cider, agave nectar) and the Lavender Sour (lavender-hibiscus elixir, egg white, sherry).
140 W Houston St
|Cross street:||between MacDougal and Sullivan Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Wed, Sun 5pm–midnight; Thu–Sat 5pm–2am|
|Transport:||Subway: 1 to Houston St|
|Price:||Average entrée: $28. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|