November 01, 2007

Mojitos in Moscow

The new Moscow is all about style, so it is hardly surprising that the city should now have numerous restaurants designed to transport the diner into ever more extravagant realms. These restaurants, largely the brainchilds of entrepreneurs Arkady Novikov and Andrei Dellos, are much more about the staging than the food. They are sites of performance, both literally, in the concerts and films they host, and figuratively, in the performances that take place among the diners, who are there to be on display (along with the Bentleys or Rolls Royces or Hummers they have parked outside). 

Nearly all the “in” places share certain features: they aspire to serve food that is lighter than traditional Russian fare; they have sushi on the menu, even in avowedly French or Russian kitchens (a phenomenon Russians call sushimania); and they offer hookahs with flavored blends after the meal.

What follows is a small sampling of some of Moscow’s trendiest restaurants. Be sure to arrive with an appetite, as the portions are large. It also helps to have a deep pocket, since meals at most of these restaurants will set you back a pretty penny.

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