India was hard. Real hard. Not so much the actual traveling part, but in the way it simultaneously deprived you of great food and overwhelmed you with noise, people and pollution to leave you feeling crowded.
Entering Europe, we were giddy with excitement and relief. Finally, we could eat what ever we wanted, when ever we wanted. We could drink alcohol. We could walk down the street on a *sidewalk* that served as a sidewalk. There were things like pedestrian streets. I stopped swearing and muttering to myself every time I left the hotel. People left us alone. Touts were gone. We were in heaven.
In this context it makes sense that for our first night in Kiev, our first night in Europe, we wanted to find somewhere nice to eat. We were hoping to make up for all those days spent in Bangladesh and India with limited menus. We were looking for the mother load… no pressure! Yet finding that can of place can be difficult, especially in a new city. Having no idea where to start or where to look, we decided to just walk around our neighborhood. We soon realized that we were not in the nicest spot for food, and gave up on our idea of the ultimate restaurant. Instead, we settled on anywhere that was open and wasn’t empty.
After walking around for a while Travis spotted a restaurant in a basement, and we settled on going in. We sat down, and received menus. And there it was: providence. The restaurant was called Pantagruel, and was an Italian restaurant. The menu read like it had been written by angels, and we promptly ordered wine to go with our truffle and fois gras dishes.
Our meal was delicious, we had a fantastic time and we really blew our budget. Still, for what we ordered we paid less than half of what we would have paid back home. We resolved to go eat there again the next day, as this was too good to pass on.
Here are pictures from day 2 followed by day 1 of our culinary adventures at Pantagruel. If you are ever in Kiev, you just must eat there. Trust us.