When we first entered this quiet restaurant on Arab Street, there was only one table occupied during the weekday lunchtime hour. This, along with some pretty basic décor (Russian memorabilia) and the waitress happily reading her book, gave the place a laidback, rustic feel. This homeliness extends to the small menu which features authentic food. The obligatory borsch comes in a bowl filled with beetroot, potato and beef and a dollop of sour cream. Although nourishing, it lacked oomph and a truly distinctive flavor, making it taste like any soup competently done. The pork chops were juicy and tasteful, although the accompanying mashed potato was dry. The beef stroganoff served up some hearty, tender beef, but like most Russian food, was a bit bland. For dessert, we chose blinchiki, which are pancakes served just the way we like—hot off the pan with generous servings of ice-cream, honey and whipped cream. For those who want a complete Russian experience, try the Kvas, a Russian drink fermented from rye bread which, though authentic, could be an acquired taste for most people. One of the very few Russian restaurants around, Nadezhda is for open-minded people looking for something different and unpretentious. BYO corkage $25.