Clara skupaj s sinovoma zbeži pred nasilnim možem v hladni New York. Ker nima denarja, stanovanja ali službe, se znajdejo na ulici, v knjižnicah, trgovinah in restavracijah, kjer Clara krade hrano, obleke in obutev. Nazadnje najdejo zavetje v ruski restavraciji, ki jo ima v lasti čudaški Timofej in kjer se zaradi dobrosrčnosti popolnih neznancev sčasoma začnejo vleči iz brezupnega položaja.
Clara and her two sons escape from her abusive husband with little more than their car and plan to start over in New York. After the car towed away, the family meets Alice, who gets them into an emergency shelter. While stealing food at a Russian restaurant called 'Winter Palace, Clara meets Marc, who has been given the chance to help the old eatery regain its former glory. The 'Winter Palace,' soon becomes a place of unexpected encounters between people who are all undergoing some sort of crisis and whom fate has now brought together.