Hungry cinema-goers in Alexandria’s Carlyle district will soon have a new option to try. Rus Uz, a fusion of Russian and Uzbekistan cuisine, is opening its doors over the summertime directly adjacent to the AMC Hoffman Theater at 210 Swamp Fox Road, taking the place of the departed Ruby Tuesday.
A spinoff of an Arlington restaurant with the same name, Alexandria’s Rus Uz will take the majority of the original eatery’s menu and styling but add some twists, says general manager Ibrokhim Rakhmatullaev.
“It’s going to be the exact same (as the Arlington location),” he said. “The only difference over here is we’re trying a new concept: We’re going to have a tea room. …We’re going to have a small, special tea room full of desserts — we have a pastry chef from the region that’s going to be working with us, so it’s going to be an upscale tea room.”
And the new location for Rus Uz isn’t the company’s first foray into Alexandria. Indeed, the business began in town, but on a smaller scale, Rakhmatullaev said.
“When we first started off, we were a catering company. …We were in Alexandria, but it was a very small (place),” he said.
Now, though, the restaurant is returning to Alexandria after a years-long respite, hardier and more robust. And Rakhmatullaev is pleased with the spot they’ve chosen.
“The Hoffman is a great area, and I think there is a lot of improvements going on and will be coming soon for the Hoffman Town Center,” he said.
In another twist of coincidence, Rus Uz’s longtime Arlington neighbors have also moved to the Carlyle area in the last little while.
The National Science Foundation “used to be right next to our restaurant in Arlington,” Rakhmatullaev said. “We used to have a lot of their corporate private events in our restaurant.”
In terms of the food, expect a hearty blend of both Russian and Uzbek dishes, says Rakhmatullaev. On the Russian side of things, “expect a lot of caviar…stroganoff, borscht, a lot of vodka obviously,” he laughed.
Representing Uzbekistan, leading the way is the plov. “It’s the national Uzbek dish,” says Rakhmatullaev. “Rice, raisins, carrots, chickpeas…lamb, everything is cooked in one pot with turmeric. It’s one of my favorite dishes on the menu right now.”
The Rus Uz team has begun renovations and expects to have the restaurant in good order soon. Barring struggles with permitting, Rakhmatullaev aims to have the restaurant open by July.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at email@example.com.