3 Gastronomic sets in Moscow restaurants
PLAYING ON CONTRAST, CHOOSING THE BEST OVER 12 YEARS OR LEARN MORE ABOUT ZERO-WASTE CONSUMPTION - WHAT’S ON THE SET-MENU?
Besides numerous dining experiences, food markets and hipster-looking breakfast coffee-croissant-acai bowl spots, in Moscow there are few trailblazers that try to wow their guests with new techniques and inventive dishes.
To present their hot new-n-next creative ideas these fine-dining places launch signature set menus, of course. Recently we’ve tested 3 of them AND THAT’S JUST A START!
We could positively recommend them to you too. Here’s why.
Chef’s table, White Rabbit Restaurant
The place, the numero uno – you’ve probably heard of that one – White Rabbit Restaurant and its star-chef Vladimir Mukhin. While it seems like all the chi-chi is going on in the main restaurant, what you actually need to focus on is the little Private dining/gastro lab space for 16 guests – the Chef’s Table By Grand Cuisine.
It’s a whole story going on next door to the renowned restaurant. Unlike the restaurant, the Chef’s table is absolutely modern and up-to-date, built around overall experience and not just food alone. Its’s like a gastronomic theater of some kind, where different chefs, including Mukhin, perform according to the schedule – the tickets are sold and the seats are taken.
Anticipation is a part of that fun. Then the scenario here carries you away from the very first step and keeps the pace till the curtain falls. Theatrical as it is, every set-menu held here impresses with a thought-through presentation and that’s probable the biggest reason to come.
The latest premiere on the Chef’s table schedule is the CONTRAST set-menu. Contrast of old and new, soft and hard, hot and cold etc – you can built the chain.
It starts with old song singing, continues with various of Russian traditional, yet very uncommon ingredients and cooking techniques, and ends with AR-enhanced dessert, as if all the performance would look half-way. While the food itself (without all the fuss around) would be somewhat fine and satisfying, the overall experience is impressive and definitely deserves to be noted.
The rest of the sets on the schedule are worth trying too – at least for the sake of experience.
Price: around 230 EUR (wine-pairing with Russian wines not included)
Why to go: if you want to be impressed and immersed in a semi-theatrical performance, and find out what an eclectic nation we are.
Grand Cru by Adrian Quetglas
Well, this one is an old hand – 12 years in the biz and still in the top of the fine-dining restaurants. Quite small (and a bit masculine to be honest) wine bar in one of the most glamorous Moscow districts – Patriarch Ponds, Grand Cru has been setting the tone of a European-style restaurant for over a decade now.
Adrian Quetglas, Argentinian by nationality, he’s spent many years in Russia, working as a brand-chef to a number of good places. That, however, didn’t stop him from opening a successful Michelin star restaurant in Mallorca. And, yes, he’s a no stranger to the molecular game: foams, textures, spaghetti of whatever you could’ve imagined, so be prepared.
Despite all the complexity of the food, it is uber-elegant, intriguing and very well-balanced. Set-menus is a landmark of this place, so if you feel like having a quiet evening with great wines (or should I say GREAT wines) + intricately patterned dishes.
As 2019 the Grand Cru 12-year anniversary round, the chef decided to present through the year set-menus composed of the most popular dishes from all the sets ever existed in the wine bar history.
For the next 2 months, you can try very light sea-themed menu – 6 dishes that can be paired to wines (conventional mostly) from all over the world. The shelves in the bar keep around 1000 names.
Price: around 55 EUR / 120 EUR (with or without wine pairing)
Why to go: to see how well you can eat and drink in Moscow at an average price of a European dinner, to enjoy peace-and-quiet in the middle of one of the world’s most hectic cities.
International zero-waste trend is being acquired in Russia too – at least in few front-rank restaurants. One of them is Selfie, a younger brother of the White Rabbit Restaurant, it is located just a few blocks away.
This elegant place also has a tradition of serving set-menus. Just like Vladimir Mukhin, local chef Anatoly Kazakov is fully integrated into the global chef’s society. So his sets are a reflection of world trends of course, with an obvious turn to Russian food culture and produce.
New set celebrates the most popular idea of zero waste and is called Edible/Inedible. Every dish is made with all the parts considered to be inedible: pigeon legs, shrimp shells (these were my favorite, in fact), pike-perch tongues and fins, cabbage stalk and so on.
Of course, all the ingredients are edible, although most of us would rather see them in the dustbin than on a plate.
Price: around 80 EUR / 110 EUR (with or without wine pairing)
Why to go: to have good time, try modern food trends reinvented in Russia with local ingredients.
Stay tuned - there is more to find out about Russian chefs and their set-menus.