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Eugene Restaurant Celebrates Butter Week & Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin

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It's Butter Week in Russia, a Mardi Gras-like holiday that takes place the week before the start of Russian Orthodox Lent. Eugene restaurant Party Downtown has a special Russian menu Friday and Saturday that embraces the celebration's decadence. 

Party Downtown was approached by Eugene Opera to create a menu to coincide with Butter Week and the performances of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

Tiffany Norton, Party Downtown's co-owner and chef, says this time of year in Oregon is a perfect fit for Russian food.

NORTON: "The fact that it's heavy foods even though it's early spring, it's still rainy and cold. And we are already using a lot of those things. We're already using sauerkraut, we're already using beets a lot, we're using a lot of horseradish all the time right now."

Norton says one of her favorite items is "shchi," a traditional stew. Party Downtown's version has sauerkraut, roasted pork belly and sour cream. The menu also includes blinis with roe and a crepe with loganberry syrup.

To your health or as they say in Russia, na zdravi!

Born and raised in Eugene, Anni started at KLCC in 2000 as a reporter and co-host of Northwest Passage. After graduating from the University of Oregon, Anni moved to New York City. She worked in education for several years before returning to her true love, journalism. Anni co-founded and co-hosted Dailysonic, a narrative-based news podcast. She interned at WNYC's On The Media, then becoming WNYC's assistant producer of Morning Edition.
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