I found it a bit bizarre that I visit Moscow quite regularly, but there hasn’t been a single note named like this yet.
As always, I don’t find a way for my posts to follow my location changes. I just came back from my kinda hop-on hop-off trip around Caucasus and now am enjoying “babye leto” (Russian term for Indian summer) riding a bike and playing tennis in my hometown. But there is so much more to tell about!
A big must-eat-and-drink list from Barcelona will happen one day for sure (so will the ones from Hong Kong and Havana…)
After leaving Spain I had a spontaneous 10-days stop in Vienna. It wasn’t in my vacation schedule but turned out to be awesome with all the barbecues and family/friends get-togethers one following another. I liked being around Vienna (we were sometimes going to Klosterneuburg, called “close to Neuburg” by out Spanish friend) in August and will definitely plan to stay for some summer months next year.
Then, I left for my traditional annual trip to Moscow. I fly there every August and usually weather treats me with some tornados and flying cows passing by as soon as I land. But this year I have been so extremely lucky with the weather wherever I go that even in Moscow it was bit less freezing than I feared. Allowed to walk a lot, spend quality time with my sister and her fiancé, meet with my childhood friends and even catch up with the Viennese fellows who were also enjoying rare but pleasant warmth of the capital.
Here are some places I tried this time that are worth attention, in my opinion. I don’t go for the most luxury places which Moscow is famous for and which most of the foreigners visiting the city would prefer to try (totally understandable, Moscow knows luxury!). Those are more of what I see as better taste, something not very often observed in Russia. For the locals, they will probably be the most well-known and hyped spots which won’t interest them anymore either. But as a guest, I enjoyed stopping by:
- Glenuill: a small place with tables placed extremely close to each other, quite intimate atmosphere in general and always smiling handsome waiters that treated us with a cake after our meal. I am not sure what made me like the place: that honey cake or crab pasta I had eaten before it. I am a big fan of crab meat but, unfortunately, it’s not served anywhere you go in the area where I live. Will be more commonly seen in menus in Russia. Anyways, I liked the little restaurant where I went straight from the airport. A nice place for dates. I had a date with my Jane there, and it was absolutely romantic!
- Рыбы Нет (Ryby Net – “there is no fish”): a meat restaurant which I had already tried a year ago. It’s a typical trying-to-be-one-of-a-kind place of the big city centre, but I like it. Indeed good meat, and high patency ensures always fresh products. I ate a beef tartar there even though I usually don’t risk eating raw meat in those countries where I am not 100% sure about the quality standards. And the location is perfect for tourists, of course.
- Итальянец (“the Italian”): an Italian restaurant, what a surprise! Famous for its Italian chef it has very well-organized menu and an option to vary any kind of pasta with any kind of sauce, etc. from the whole menu. On the side, there is another place from the same owner(s), a bit less posh but offering no less delicious range of Italian specialties. And you can chose from both menus in whatever the restaurant you picked a table!
- Молоко (Moloko – “milk”): again, in the very center of the melting pot. But being on the street full of gastronomical wonders, it was the only one where nice staff found a table for us on a Friday evening with no reservation. Be ready that if you ask “Sorry, is there a free table” in Moscow, you may get an answer “How the hell do I know, go inside and have a look” from a waiter. It’s tough mother-Russia, baby! So, Moloko was the only one that agreed to have us, and tven though we were only drinking there, I could see that it’s a place that I call “good one”. The concept was for sure prepared by the professionals so was the cocktails menu. Very close to classic American bars’ standards but with some innovative approach. I ordered a rum-based cocktail with creamy caramel texture and lemongrass in it (since la Petite of Florence lemongrass in drinks is like crab meat in food for me) and was extremely satisfied. Watching the barkeepers was also a pleasure, and you know, I am a big fan of their craft!
- Upside down cake is a place around the corner, where we tried to sit down for some sweets first. Their range of desserts seemed very attractive, and I had seen the place on Instagram a few times before. But they offer no alcohol at all. To me a cocktail is a perfect dessert, so I don’t really understand how one can position themselves as a desserts place not offering the main after-meal/instead of meal experience.
- Americano: this is where desserts looked amazing! Can’t judge much as I was too full to eat there, but I loved their location and the atmosphere inside. Perfect for a quiet chat that shouldn’t be overheard or for loosing oneself to some reading or browsing.
- I like W (W stands for Wine <3): if I had understood it correctly, it’s a chain for those who not only like wine but also like beer, etc. We like wine and food! And both were very good there! I ordered roastbeef salad, bruschettas and creamy sauce pasta with duck and was very satisfied. The place is a bit louder and might require a reservation on busy evenings, but it will be a cool location for a big company pregame or celebrating some event, too! The only thing that I didn’t like was that when we finished our meal and didn’t want more wine at that moment when we were just talking, the waiter kept coming up asking when we will order more drinks and ended up asking if he can bring us the bill when we repeated that we were good for the moment. But, again, that kicking out to seat new customers is common, so don’t get pissed at one particular place, but blame the service culture in general.
I must say I really enjoyed this time in Moscow. Maybe it’s the weather, as I am very climate-dependent. Maybe it’s the fact that all worked out so well with no plan and I got to see so many people. And I admit, I see the progress in the city, even in comparison with last year’s visit. You can pay with credit cards everywhere now; the city sites became brighter and cleaner. Let’s see what happens in the next years.