- Complimentary glass of Georgian red wine when you dine at the restaurant
Every restaurant has a story, but Red Tavern in Richmond’s quirky Little Moscow district has an especially affecting one. Its original owner, Irina Litvak, immigrated from Russia to San Francisco in 1988, bringing along her three-year-old son Igor. Irina opened several restaurants, including Flying Pig Bistro and a Treasure Island banquet hall called Danilov, and then, in 2011, she opened Red Tavern, her most personal effort, which immediately became a neighborhood favorite. But in 2017, Irina died suddenly at the age of 52, and Igor, then living in New York, resolved to continue his mother’s legacy. That legacy has everything to do with serving comforting, high-quality food in a warm and intimate environment, thanks to Chef Dina Schpak, who stepped into take over Irina's kitchen. “This is where to come to find Russian classics,” says Thrillist, pointing to signature dishes like borsch, blinis, pelmeni (Siberian veal or chicken dumplings), and beef stroganoff, all prepared as authentically and meticulously as Irina would have wished.