|(this place just opened, below is from blackbookmag.com, not sure about this in 2009, "Word on the street says Mari Vanna will be kept secret, with owners handing out keys to approved customers")
New York Restaurants » Gramercy » Russian
41 E. 20th Street
(Park Ave. and Broadway)
Selected private openings through July. Russian myth has Mari Vanna as an old woman who took in strangers, cooked elaborate dishes in classic Russian tradition, and served on her finest china. The strangers were eventually given keys and treated like family. Hence this cozy resto. Russian owners took their time perfecting this homey place; interior's filled with pepper grinders, lamps, books, teakettles, and other authentic Russian antiques. Bit on the precious side. Food on a grand scale, heaping portions of flaky chicken Kiev, beef stroganoff, and salade Olivier are not to be missed. Candy dishes abound, just like the ones you couldn't touch at Granny's. Word on the street says Mari Vanna will be kept secret, with owners handing out keys to approved customers.