Until summer of 2017, Sergei and co. ran a small, friendly establishment on Saint Petersburg’s popular Rubinstein street. Zhirobas can easily be translated as ‘lardass’ meaning someone who likes their food (because it is so tasty). It became a popular venue for post-work meetings — fresh mussels accompanied by bruschetta would be washed down with a beer. Sergei would always come out and say hello whenever he saw you walking past. It was a nice place to spend time.
Then one fine day, the landlord decided that he was going to start his own restaurant and Sergei was forced to move. You can imagine my surprise when I bumped into Sergei in my neighbourhood in the summer of 2019 — he was scouting for premises. Just a few months later Zhirobas, now renamed Mariniere, opened offering its signature seafood dishes and warm atmosphere. The restaurant is bigger, and is conveniently located in a great part of town.
The striking Stiglitz Drawing Academy is just around the corner, so too is the revamped Museum of the Siege of Leningrad (featuring works by local street artist UrbanFresco). Staff are welcoming and knowledgeable, and it’s probably the most down-to-earth – and definitely the least pretentious – seafood restaurant in the city.