To finish off my long-delayed posts on Moscow is a list of a few restaurants I went to that I really enjoyed. Most are located either in the center or just off the garden ring road. Here they are in no particular order:
Ulitsa Bolshaya Dimitrovka 7/5
Telephone: +7495 692 0309
*Open 24 hours daily
Moloko Cafe used to be a state milk store hence the name (moloko means milk in Russian). Interiors are modern - great velvet chairs line each side of the room with a large bar in the middle. There's a good crowd of expats and locals and not everyone is dressed to the nines. We came for lunch on a Sunday and the place was half-full with mostly young Russian couples and their kids. We shared a starter of smoked mackerel on baby potatoes followed by the sea bass in red curry for me and the beef stroganoff with mashed potatoes for A. Food was fine and service was friendly, the only downside was the dessert which seemed store-bought. As it's open 24 hours, I'm sure that there is a pre-club crowd that hangs out for cocktails and a post-clubbing crowd who come for breakfast before heading back home at dawn.
Kuznetsky Most 79
Telephone: +7495 623 1701
*Open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. till late, Weekends from noon to midnight
Another concept from the Novikov group, Vogue Cafe is a modern, bright space with a black and white interior with some color brought in with the large framed model shots on the walls and shelves of Vogue magazines. Food is modern European Russian-style which means Italian or Mediterranean with some sushi and sashimi thrown in. The combination works though as the place is crowded on most days with fashion-conscious Muscovites enjoying the Euro-inspired menu. Its' location alongside trendy department store Tsum also helps. We had a decent mixed salad, a penne arrabbiata and a pappardelle with cepes.
Ulitsa Neglinnaya 8/10
Telephone: +8495 621 90 80
*Open weekdays from 8:00 till midnight and weekends from 11:00 a.m. till midnight
Other branches on Ulitsa Ostrozhenka 3/14 and Kutuzovsky Avenue 2/1
We stumbled into Il Forno on a cold windy evening on our first night in Moscow since it was on the same street as our hotel not expecting anything special and we were pleasantly surprised with the pizza and the service. We had a salad to share and some pizzas on one evening and pasta on another night. The menu has classic Italian pastas, risottos and pizzas and a few meat and fish main courses. It's a casual restaurant with a proper brick-oven which makes the pizzas perfect.
Maly Kozinsky Pereulok, 10
Telephone: +7916 336 26 33
*Open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
In hip and happening Patriarch's Pond, Brownie Cafe is a tiny. welcoming place owned by the Friends Forever group, which has a dozen hip cafes specializing in cakes and coffee. This newest addition which opened in February of this year, has a retro vibe with it's multi-colored chairs, communal wood tables and large display case filled with all sorts of cakes and sweets. We shared two - a chocolate raspberry cake and a strawberry shortcake with excellent coffee. I dare you to enter and not have a slice of cake.