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Inna’s Cuisine: A culinary journey from Russia to Italy to Wenatchee

Right off of Wenatchee Avenue is a bustling European street, with locals catching lunch on a sunny afternoon, at least, as seen through the colorful mural inside Inna’s Cuisine by local artist Herb Schramel. The cityscape mural takes up a full wall inside the restaurant.

The restaurant has an intimate candlelit setting with white tablecloths, taking guests on a four-cuisine journey from Russia to Italy.

Owner Inna Kazulina opened the downtown dining spot in 2005. “My dream was always to have a restaurant,” she said.

Originally from Ukraine, Kazulina immigrated to the U.S. after winning a green card lottery. Much of the restaurant’s menu comes from food Kazulina first started cooking in Eastern Europe before moving to the U.S.

She said “so many different nationalities” inspired the food in the South Ukraine, where she is from.

After moving to Wenatchee, she worked as a cook at Visconti’s Italian Restaurant in Wenatchee. She later opened a downtown coffee shop called Coffee Depot that she operated for six years before starting Inna’s Cuisine restaurant.

Her four-cuisine eatery features a combination of Russian, Ukrainian, Greek and Italian foods. It also has a fifth — American. “Can’t do without steak,” she said.

Among the most popular items on the menu are combination plates. Another popular item is arrabbiata salmon.

Kazulina learned to make some of the recipes on her menu when she was in cooking school, while other recipes are foods she used to make with her family before opening the restaurant.

The pierogi Kazulina makes comes from a recipe that has been in her family for generations.

The menu is unique because everything is prepared from scratch, she said. The homemade recipes include stuffed pasta, stuffed cabbage rolls, lasagna, beef stroganoff and soups. Each country's cuisine has its own favorite spices.

Since all the food is made entirely in the restaurant, guests can be accommodated if they have any food restrictions, she said.

Kazulina’s son, Konstantin Kazulin, has been helping out around the restaurant since he was about 13 years old. One of the best parts about working at the family restaurant, the now 31-year-old said, is trying the new dishes his mom comes up with.

His favorite menu item is chicken pistachio, while Kazulina favors her lamb with cherry sauce.

Kazulina said she loves to have a restaurant in the heart of Wenatchee because of the community. “It’s like family,” she said.

The locals are really supportive and help each other out, she said.

People who come by the restaurant return for years to come, she said.

Information from The Wenatchee World archives is included in this story.