Rasputin Restaurant/Cabaret Is The Crown Jewel Of Sheepshead Bay

Categories: Nightlife

Patrick McMullan

Michael and Marina Levitis invited me to their Rasputin restaurant in Sheepshead Bay (2670 Coney Island Avenue, 718-332-8111), so I put on my Cossack hat, grabbed some friends, and raced there with my tongue out to help celebrate the place's 20th anniversary in style.

When we sat down, our table was already bedecked with trays upon trays filled with smoked fish, almond prawns, marinated cabbage, and cold cuts.

"Happy birthday, Irina," announced an MC as we stuffed ourselves senseless. "Also we have birthday of Andre."

More smoked fish. More cold cuts.

"And now, the married couple's first dance." And out came a married couple as promised, slow-dancing to a Russian love song as fake snow fell on them as if out of Doctor Zhivago.

A cabaret show ensued, with four amazing vocalists alternating on various Russian tunes, backed by two festive dancing girls.

At one point, Michael Levitis explained to me, "This song is 'Russian Women Have the Best Asses.' And they do!"

I could see why. Our waiter, Boris, was now bringing over veal and rice, beef Stroganoff, seafood pasta, and filet mignon.

Michael and Marina (who wore a zebra print Robert Cavallo) were vigorously dancing in the crowd, and it was inspiring to see that, unlike many club owners, they actually enjoy their own party.

Next up, the married couples and birthday people were posing with their entourages on the dance floor for the house photographer, as a little girl stole their thunder by cutely doing Russian dances around them.

More fish. More rice. More vegetables. More fish.

"In five minutes, there's a show," said Michael.

Huh? I guess the four cabaret singers was just the pre show.

Out came dancers basically dressed like Russian villages, and they performed rapid-fire costume changes, Moulin Rouge high kicks, flamenco twirls, and even some aerial stunts.

It was like a downtown club revue but with legit production values.

At 12:10, after three hours of continuous eating, the main course came! Lamb kebabs! So I guess all that other stuff was just the pre food.

This place is so amazing. They are planning to open one in Manhattan, too. Even if they open one in Siberia, I will be there.

Photos by Patrick McMullan.

Marina and Michael Levitis and Michael's mom






Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

They not only steal your money, they give you food that cost $10 and charge you $400. How can anyone say one good word about this place?


You are a lucky person. We had no such luck on New Year Party 2012. No food or drinks or a show to say one good word about. The place is a hang out where they still your money without any remorse. Complete garbage.


we had a great time! lovely seeing y'all enjoying yourselves

Anita Sarko
Anita Sarko

omg:  i had SO much fun!  thank you michael, marina & MICHAEL!  & elena:  the dancing and singing were EXCEPTIONAL! i'm still so stuffed...so much food! so deliciious!xxx  "anya zarko" (my old country name)

Elena Sosnina
Elena Sosnina

Just an absolutely great review of the show "20" from the most verbal, whimsical, and intelligent writer from the "Village Voice" Michael Musto! I always enjoyed reading his columns, with a dictionary of course. With Michael's vocabulary being so vast, and his descriptions so sharp and accurate, I didn't want to miss anything! What an honor to be mentioned by him as a "festive dancer", and to be photographed solo by  Patrick McMullan. The review features dynamic photos of beautiful costumed Russian ladies, who are all professionally schooled and well trained dancers. You can't just dance those complicated steps without having a solid dance background!  Additionally, I would like to mention the creators of the show:

Ever present soul, the choreographer. producer and founder of the Show — Andrei Ivanov

Cofounder, co-choreographer and dance captain — Alexander Rudoy

Costume designer —the unbelievable Tatiana Kudryavtseva

Keith G
Keith G

FYI.....This place, the owners, and Michael's Mom are often featured in the new quasi-reality show, "Russian Dolls" on Lifetime. It's a fun peak inside the folks of Brighton Beach...


Nice to see an unbiased review....

​Michael and Marina Levitis invited me to their Rasputin restaurant 


This is just the kind of over the top stuff I LOVE!!!


Anita Sarko, Patrick McMullan, Alan Rish, and I ate so much they had to wheel us out the door.