This cheery newcomer, way out west on Memorial at Kirkwood, is targeted at Houston's 40,000 plus Russophone community. Even if you know less about Russia than, say, a Republican ambassador to Moscow, you can still profitably explore the spiffy, well-lit aisles for unusual goods like Cornelian cherry compote or smoked Latvian sprats. The extensive cold cases offer caviar by the pound and preprepared take-out foods for the modern career devushka
who no longer has time to prepare piroshki for her family. There is a wine room offering Latvian beer, Crimean dessert wines from the old Massandra winery, once owned by Czar Nicholas II, and some Moldavian wines, portlike, that one of the three owner-operators says is ordered -- 4,000-liter batch at a time -- by HRH Elizabeth II, no doubt for serving at the larger Buckingham Palace functions. Another side room offers various Russian tchotchkes (a Russian word that has come into English via Yiddish) for gift giving and collecting.