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Irina's Restaurant and Bar

We love going out to dinner - heading out to a cozy restaurant, having a cocktail, good food, good wine and a little atmostphere. And you can certainly find all of the above at Irina's Restaurant and Bar. Located at 2301 Rocklyn Drive in Urbandale, Irina's had a bit of bad luck with the weather last summer and just reopened in November, 2011.

The restaurant features Russian-American cuisine in a beautiful dining area and their bar features Russian vodkas and beer. We took our waitresses' recommendation and started out with a taste of the Quattro vodka - on the rocks for Grant, a martini for me ( a BIG martini, whew).

You'll find traditional American dishes like steaks and burgers on the menu, along with salads and a variety of appetizers, plus there are also daily specials to make the choice even harder! Some of the Russian entrees include Moscow Filet, Russian Pork Shashlik, and Beef Stroganov, but you'll also find Salmon Wellington, Rack of Lamb and various pasta dishes.

We started off sharing a traditional Caesar Salad. Crisp, fresh romaine, lightly dressed with a perfect Caesar dressing (you could taste the anchovy!), lots of fresh parmesan and seasoned crouton. An excellent salad.

For my entree, I selected the Russian Pork Shashlik. A very loooong skewer of juicy, herb-marinated, grilled pork and veggies came with a slighty spicy sauce on the side. Very flavorful and I enjoyed every bite.

Grant decided on the Beef Stroganov. Tender beef strips with onions, mushrooms and green peppers in a light cream sauce - one of the best versions of this dish we've had. I stole several bites from Grant's plate and I'm not the least bit sorry. Too tasty.

We also enjoyed a glass each of a very nice Pinot Noir. Our waitress brought out two different Pinot Noirs for us to taste and we both selected 'The Crusher.'

The atmosphere at Irina's is wonderful - not too bright, not too dark, and although the tables are somewhat close together, you never feel crowded and conversation flows freely. We thoroughly enjoyed the 'windows' that change color and the beautiful photos on the projection screen.

The bar stays lively after the last meals are served and they were cranking up the music when these old people were leaving at 10:30ish.

So if you're looking for a spot for a romantic dinner for two, or want to enjoy an evening with a group of friends, be sure to check out Irina's Restaurant and Bar for an interesting menu, great Russian beer and vodkas, and excellent food. We're sure you'll enjoy it as much as we did.

Irina's Restaurant and Bar

2301 Rocklyn Drive
Urbandale, IA  50322


More information and menus at www.irinasrestaurantandbar.com

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