Gastropubs

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.
It is not an easy task to find the secret door to the cozy basement in the backstreets of Karetny Ryad District. The restaurant's chef Ivan Shishkin believes that the permanent menu should always be augmented with another one, inspired by his recent findings. If you have a chance, stop by on a Sunday, where the chef cooks from whatever he bought on the market that day. The main hit of the permanent menu is fried brain. And make sure to taste the house-made infusions and cocktails, which earned the bar team a spot on the list of World's 50 Best Bars.

Georgian cuisine is one of Moscow's most popular and affordable kinds, and so khinkali shops pop up like mushrooms after the rain, while khachapuri cheese pies as more popular than traditional Russian pirozhki. But there are very few restaurants with contemporary Georgian cuisine, and Saperavi is one of them. The establishments of this restaurant chain seem to offer traditional dishes, but each one is a little bit "kinky." Pkhali balls are made with hazelnuts instead of walnuts. The pickles set includes green tomatoes and quick pickled cucumbers with estragon, Colchis bladdernut, kale-turnip, cherry plums, olives, and cornelian cherry. The baked beet is served with green spicy sauce and pine nuts along with nadugi cream cheese, which is made right there, in the kitchen. Khachapuri pies are fried on a roasting jack. Khachapuri and lobiani can be cooked using spelt wheat flour with dried basil and freshly ground black pepper. Suluguni cheese is baked in bacon strips with honey and pears. Shilaplavi, the Georgian pilaf, is made with mushrooms, dry white wine, spices and Imereti saffron. It is all quite unconventional, but, like everywhere in Georgia, very delicious and hearty.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.

This is arguably the only Greek place in Moscow, where you can find real Greek expats at the tables and hear the Greek language. The expats know chef Philistor Destempasidis well and trust him, which means that the dishes are truly authentic. The roasting jack is used to cook a baby goat, which is then baked in lemon juice with potatoes and tsipouro brandy. Little pots are used for braising national Cretan dish stifado with rabbit. Sea bass fillet is sizzling on the grill, and Metaxa brandy is cooling nearby. Desert menu includes the traditional galatopita semolina pudding with cinnamon.

If you end up at Molon Lave during wintertime, order fasolada soup to warm yourself up or look to the wine menu for some hot drinks. Hot red wine with spices and honeycomb or Lesvos cocktail with mastika, Greek retsina wine and banana syrup are great choices.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.

Tiny Uilliam's restaurant is always filled to the brim. It is always full of people, and you should reserve your table ahead of time, but the payoff is great atmosphere of universal friendship. Chef Uilliam Lamberti moves from table to table, personally greeting his visitors, and waiters have a great sense of humour. The menu is designer cuisine inspired by Lamberti's wealth of international experience: bruschetta with king crab, onion soup with beef ribs, custard slice with prawns and avocado, strozzapreti pasta with chicken salciccia and truffle, rabbit a la porcetta with polenta and olives, chestnut torte, and sable cookies. Each day, the restaurant cooks something on a roasting jack: it may be a chicken, some Cornish hens, or a turkey, make sure to ask the waiters. The grill is used to cook octopus, whole dorado fish, beef tongue, or Angus steak.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.

The idea of a restaurant where people take their meals in complete darkness was first born in 1999 in Paris. First of all, darkness does not distract from the food, and all the tastes are magnified. Second, you can concentrate completely on your conversation partner, which is why this restaurant is a beloved date spot. Third, the restaurant also has a humanitarian mission, as it is a great way to show visitors how the blind people live and work. The majority of restaurant's waiters are blind. The menu, divided into four blocks, is a secret, and the visitors are asked to guess the dishes themselves. The white menu has fish, meat and poultry dishes, the red menu – poultry and meat, the blue one – fish and seafood, and the green one is strictly vegetarian. Each standard set consists of an appetizer, main dish, desert and a drink, but you can forego some things when you make your order.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.

Nedalny Vostok is a favourite spot for business meetings of parliament members, ministers and businessmen. Lofty interiors provide a great backdrop for business discussions, and the popular menu items include pakchoi kimchee, dim sams, rolls, Peking ducks with pancakes and king crab baked with Wasabi mayonnaise. The kitchen, in full accordance with its name, veers towards the East. There is a lot of fish (some of it served as tartare), sushi (with red caviar, scallops and amberfish), sashimi (with sea urchin roe or tuna backs), and rolls (with smoked eel or tempura salmon). There are wok dishes as well: beef in pepper sauce with bean sprouts, northern mussels, pike-perch in sweet-and-sour Thai sauce, and Udon noodles with shrimp and vegetables. The restaurant's true king is the grill. Selecting your fish may be a task, as almost all of the most popular kinds are present, including sterlet and candle fish, red grouper and trumpetfish.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

Receptor is a fun, affordable and original restaurant chain with a lot of vegetarian dishes on the menu. Local chefs prefer to do all their meal prep themselves.

Here you can find Korean noodles with chicken, vegetarian Korean soybean soup, Tom yum soup, healthy shrimp burgers with salad leaves instead of burger buns, baked carp with vegetables, beet patties, tofu steak, or Udon noodles with mushrooms. Receptor bakes its own bread and pies (with chicken, mushrooms, pumpkin, and salmon and egg), makes its own lemonades from freshly squeezed juices, and has its own smokehouse, which makes, among other things, smoked fish. Ice cream is also homemade and is served with sweet pies that have pineapple, mango and pear fillings. When making your order, make sure to tell the waiters how spicy you want your food to be.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

The restaurant's name, Ugolëk (Ember), is there for a reason. The establishment prides itself in its real American cast-iron ovens, which are used to cook the majority of dishes. Among them are the buckwheat risotto with rabbit, beef cheeks with mashed potatoes, beef shank with baked vegetables, veal tongue with broccoli sauce, beef and lamb burgers, duck confi with polenta and plums, Dorado fillet with pumpkin and zuccini. The result is different from when the same dishes are cooked in pans or on the grill. Coming straight from the oven, they are juicier and more flavourful. On the hot days, Ugolëk is great for the cold kvas soup with vegetables and cooked meat or refreshing spagetti with crab, and housemade hummus with toast is a great appetizer. The large windows are open, and there are plenty of pillows, so you can seat there and do some people-watching.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.

Chestnaya Kukhnya is headed by charismatic chef Sergey Yeroshenko. He loves to cook from wild game. Yeroshenko is a huntsman himself, and loves to introduce new dishes based on the catch. The chef's favourite instrument is oven, which he uses to cook the majority of the menu, in the process achieving maximum variety. Volga sterlet, king crab phalanx baked with cheese and spinach in hot-and-sweet mayonnaise, baby goat with fragrant rosemary and potatoes, pie with fowl on top of onion creme with sweet dates and smoked cheese, goose meat braised with caramelized carrots – all of these dishes come out of the oven. The oven is also used to cook the braised 24-hour cabbage soup with three kinds of game, which is served with homemade pirozhki with cabbage, game, potatoes and mushrooms. The old Russian recipes are given a new interpretation: for example, the shashlik (kebabs) is made here from Kashira rooster meat with fragrant oil and sweet tomatoes.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.

AQ Kitchen, headed by the Spaniard Adrian Quetglas, is one of Moscow's few affordable restaurants dabbling in near-molecular cuisine. AQ Kitchen dishes are true stars and legends of Moscow gastronomy world: cream soup with crisp morcilla and canellini vinaigrette, white chocolate ganache with plum and kvass ragout, warm brownie with cactus sorbet, Tula honey-cake ice cream with cherry sauce, codfish with green olive brandade and mozzarella and olive oil cream – your mouth starts watering just by reading the menu. The restaurant's main "star dish" is the fowl pâté in the form of a glistening yellow duckling with apples, which looks sort of like a bathroom duckie. The restaurant has an open-kitchen layout, which means you can watch the chefs as they create gastronomical history.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.

True to its name the restaurant sits its visitors under the canopy of subtropical vines filled with chirping birds. The kitchen is overseen by Adrian Quetglas, one of Moscow's most distinguished chefs and the owner of a Michelin star. Quetglas serves fanciful European cuisine: tartare from ox rump steak with mustard pearls, chicken consomme with homemade pasta nest, broccoli cream soup with smoked chicken and mint, scallops with saffron risotto, and salmon in banana leaves. The large hall of the restaurant is great for the main menu, but make sure to have your desserts at the smaller, more frivolous, but no less cozy green terrace. Choices include the honey cake with bitter orange marmalade, fried peaches with hot chocolate and mint, persimmon tartare with jasmine creme and coffee ice cream mousse, and pineapple lasagna

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.

Selfie is one of Russia's leading haute cuisine restaurants. It is headed by Vladimir Mukhin, member of the TOP 100 World's Best Restaurants rating and 2nd place winner of S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup, and Anatoly Kazakov. Together, they stage culinary shows, as if giving a theatrical performance. In the centre of the restaurant is the huge open kitchen, with its constant hum of sounds and smells and sizzles. The main performance is the Russian Set. It consists of an ice cream pop made out of porcino mushrooms and pike roe and chicken pâté with apple and Madeira wine jello; a scallop with winter apples, pumpkin and sea buckthorn sauce; a king crab with millet and Poshekhonsky cheese; a Murmansk halibut with leeks, kale-turnip and sorrel sauce. Entremets are high cranberry sorbet; veal cheeks with cabbage stump risotto; and Tula honey-cake. All of the dishes are accompanied by selected Russian wines.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Reserve Russia 2018 LOC is not liable for any reservation services provided by third parties.

This is a true European restaurant with Scandinavian/Swedish cuisine unfamiliar to Moscow. The principal dishes are a variety of fish, accompanied by cloudberries and other bounty of the Scandinavian land: drunk herring with spicy cookies, skagen toast with shrimp, tuna seviche in a cucumber shot glass, mussels with air-dried beet, charred salmon with cloudberry mustard, sole fried on bones, gravlax, Swedish meatballs, and asparagus soup. The grill part of the menu is quite impressive: you can order a steak, and grilled prawns, and, obviously, salmon fillet. Deserts include the warm blueberry crumble with ice cream, traditional kannelbulle with ice cream, crème brûlée with cloudberry, and the lingonberry trio – mousse, marmalade, and sorbet. Russians rarely visit Scandinavia, so do not be surprised that the waiters speak to you in English right away.