Photo by René Atchison

3152 Brighton 6th Street


Open daily, noon to midnight


Tatiana Varzar opened her namesake Brighton Beach boardwalk restaurant in 1990, and the vibrant, boisterous banquet hall has buzzed along ever since, attracting customers with bumping tunes and plenty of neon. Varzar cooks from a roster of Russian standards (chicken Kiev is a standout), peppering in her own specials, like a goat-cheese terrine and a spicy lamb's-tongue salad. Although it's very good, the food at Tatiana isn’t the only draw. There’s also a pageant rather anticlimactically referred to as “The Show”: a dazzling revue of dancers and acrobats that flies by in 30 minutes. You can avail yourself of it only on weekend nights (when there’s also live music), but the performance is the longest-running show of its kind in the borough. On a shell-shaped stage, ornately dressed performers leap through the air, their faces illuminated by flashes of light and shrouded by abundant fog machines. You’ll find yourself applauding between bites of beef stroganoff or “blabber mouth” salad, which tosses chewy boiled beef tongue with tomatoes, parsley, and mayonnaise. It ain’t the cheapest night out, especially in this neck of the woods, but it’s a one-of-a-kind experience.