Something New at Fossil

Moscow sees numerous new restaurants open every week, but then again it sees plenty close as well, which probably explains where they manage to fit them all. The new Lebanese restaurant Fossil has recently taken over from where Tsirlikh Manirlikh left off, opening in the latter's basement location, hidden behind a Kofe House in a courtyard it shares with Petrovich, among other restaurants.

As at Damas, a Middle Eastern restaurant that opened last year, Fossil shuns the tacky kitsch often found in the genre and instead opts for a pleasantly low-key though interestingly put together interior. The walls are all whitewashed, and to one side of the bar a small water feature trickles down a miniature viaduct into a tiny pool. Wildlife scenes are shown on a plasma screen. Along one wall by the entrance is a display of artifacts and fossils, complete with certificates.

Lebanese favorites such as hummus (190 rubles), tabouli (210 rubles), baba ganoush (210 rubles) and moutabel (190 rubles) are all present and accounted for. Strangely, falafel is absent from the menu. Other dishes include dolma (190 rubles), lamb and beef kufta kebab (390 rubles), and farandali kebab with beef, eggplant, tomato and green peppers (490 rubles). A mixed kebab plate goes for 1,100 rubles. Sambousek pastries come stuffed with lamb and nuts as well as spinach (both 190 rubles). The light, nongreasy culinary style is well suited to modern Moscow's tastes.

There are many varieties of handmade lemonades, such as plain lemon (160 rubles) or fresh apple (210) and pineapple (400 rubles). Pomegranate juice is 450 rubles. Draft beers include Budweiser or Hoegaarden for 210 rubles a half-liter. The large selection of hookahs starts at 800 rubles.

24 Myasnitskaya Ul., 626-4570, noon-last guest, M. Chistiye Prudy.