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Discovery: Gregory's Russian Restaurant

Longtime fans of live dinner music have likely enjoyed the rich, diverse repertoire of Belarus-born pianist Gregory Baranovsky, who entertained customers for more than six years at Sangiovese Ristorante and headlined at the erstwhile Russia House and Moscow Nights. Now, diners can hear Baranovsky playing everything from Broadway standards to folk songs at Gregory’s Russian Restaurant (6066 E. 82nd St., 317-693-9123), which he and his wife, Deanna, opened in September of last year. With a Russian cook in their kitchen, hearty appetizers such as draniki, delicate potato pancakes dressed with sautéed mushrooms and onions, are a must, as is a salad studded with finely chopped boiled potatoes, eggs, peas, chicken, and mayonnaise. A steaming bowl of Ukranian borsch with a rich pork broth, beets, beans, and cabbage could make a restorative meal on a snowy night. Classic chicken Kiev may be a tad rustic with starchy sides of cabbage, rice, and French fries, but you can’t miss with the rich, prune-and-spinach–stuffed Sturgeon pork boiled in a mushroom sauce, a one-of-a-kind sweet and savory dish you won’t find anywhere else.

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.
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