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The Milk and Honey Cafe Brings a Taste of Russia

Milk and Honey Cafe

UPDATE: The Milk and Honey Cafe has closed its doors. 6/14/2016

The Milk and Honey Cafe is a little restaurant with big heart. If you want to expand your palate, and try something new, Milk and Honey delivers with the culture, charm, and delicious culinary delights of Russia. Chef and owner, Svetlana, believes that the key to a healthy and happy life is good food.

Stepping inside the Milk and Honey Cafe is like entering a new world. The white and yellow tablecloths put in mind thoughts of spring, while the walls and display cases are full of Russian decor like tea pots and wooden nesting dolls. The entire restaurant is filled with a bright and charming atmosphere that reflect a side of Russian culture not often seen.

Svetlana Alsup is a native of Russia where she worked as a banker. After meeting her husband online she moved to America, but was unable to take up a position in her previous occupation. Svetlana started working in the cafeteria of Franklin Elementary, where she shared recipes of her homeland with her coworkers, who loved her culinary treats. The positive response prompted her to start her own business, and with the help of her husband, Randy, The Milk and Honey Cafe was created.

“People are very excited," she said, "and the business is slowly growing.”

Svetlana handmakes all the food herself, with the help of her son-in-law, Peter. Also a native of Russia, Peter has come in from Seattle to lend a helping-hand. Together they serve Russian dishes that they used to make back home, the most authentic you can get without actually leaving the country. “It’s important to do things with your hands; it’s good for your mind,” says Svetlana. One of the more popular items on the menu are the blini, or crepes, which are served with fruit, cream cheese, and honey. The signature honey cake - for which the restaurant is named, is a light and creamy dessert that melts in your mouth. Svetlana also handmakes a special bread, which eaten with butter and honey, is simply heavenly. One of her favorite dishes to cook and eat are the Pelmeni, or dumplings.

“We've established several regulars already, people come in several times a week, picking up lunch, or sometimes just to buy bread.”

They also welcome suggestions as they try to expand their menu. Svetlana recalled putting together a  new dish for a customer whoSvetlana was a vegetarian, she happily made a special dish just for them. She has since added things like cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes, “I use real potatoes,” she emphasized proudly, “none of that box stuff.” They also hope to soon expand their hours, and add breakfast options, as customers have shown interest.

Svetlana is full of ideas to expand her business; she says that once the weather warms up she wants to have a Spring Celebration as a way to invite people in and try free samples of crepes which are traditionally served during such festivals. There are several Russian holidays that she wants to integrate into her schedule, and she hopes to soon host her own Russian-style party.

For the most part she just wants the cafe to be a place for people to relax and enjoy themselves, “I'm so happy to see people who have experienced European food come in and enjoy an authentic meal, and introduce first-timers to new food. They all love it.”

The Milk and Honey Cafe is located at 229 S. Broadview St. in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, down from Trees and Trends. They are closed on Sundays, but open the rest of the week from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There is a private room for parties, and if your group exceeds 10 people they will rent out the entire restaurant after hours. Check out their Facebook page for more information (and all the five-star reviews).

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