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Destinations · Europe · russian federation · Moscow · Where to eat · Crème de la Crème

Pushkin

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Dinner at Pushkin is a must if you are really interested in sampling and understanding authentic and genuinely good Russian cuisine. The restaurant has already become a legend, and not just for serving the most authentic Russian food - there is definitely more to it. Firstly, the location - an outstanding imitation of an early 1800s building; it is nothing like the worst examples sometimes seen in various parts of the world where the French style is imitated by building faux palaces out of plaster panels. By no means, here they have achieved an incredibly convincing result. You have to be an expert to realise that this is not in fact the historical interior. You are greeted in the doorway by a sixty-something gentleman with a grey beard and pincenez, dressed in an early 1900s-style suit: he could easily pass for a grammar school teacher. He addresses you unobtrusively: How can I help you, sir? Then the kind gentleman reaches for a set of old postcards, tied up with a silk ribbon, and proceeds to tell you the story of the building: when was it built and renovated, etc. The smallest detail has been paid an incredible amount of attention, from the tiles, the seemingly time-worn (distressed, in fact, to create an impression of historical authenticity) mahogany stairs, to the magnificent fruit bowls and first-class service - not to mention the restrooms: toilet bowls with glazed handles and wooden covers with worn-out brass hinges, china faucets with hand-painted flowers, massive sinks... and everything looking so incredibly authentic.
Those who speak and read Russian should forego the ordinary menu and choose the old "newspaper" instead; the food is described in a much more elaborate and mouth-watering fashion than in the English version aimed at tourists. An aperitif before dinner is a good idea, just forget about having it upstairs where the menu is exactly the same and the prices - much higher. Do stay on the first floor, at the so-called apteka (pharmacy), which, by the way, has nothing to do with medicine of any sort. Pushkin is the place to go if you want to try some authentic Russian food. Don't even think of not sampling some borsht, it is ever so moreish - with a slight touch of smoked goose and lightly baked apple flavour. And do try the herring: the taste is as clean and classic as nowhere else. Don't forget kurnyik, a thin puff pastry pie with a fried chicken and cep filling, and Pozharskiye kotleti, mince veal and chicken patties. And did we mention Beef Stroganoff? They do make a mean Beef Stroganoff at the Pushkin restaurant. And you simply must taste the dessert of the house. Don't order wine, though, the wines are expensive out of any proportion and just do not live up to the expectation. No way, in Russia you have to drink vodka with that sort of food.
Dinner at Pushkin is a performance in itself. The staff are genuine virtuosi of their trade: the way the food is plated and served, the way you are addressed by the waiter, the way an accidentally dropped napkin is immediately picked up and replaced with a fresh one, a knife - intercepted before it has hit the time-worn (or, rather, artificially distressed) floor tiles... The restaurant is open 24 hours a day; around 4 am the club-hoppers of the "metropolis that never sleeps" drop by to fortify themselves with some hearty early morning soup.

Dinner: RUB 1600 - 3500 per person on average

26a Tverskoi Bulvar
Phone: 739 00 33; 629 55 90; 629 94 11

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