Nonsmokers, Alles Gut

MTSchreibikus has a cozy smokers' room and a spacious smoke-free zone.
The recently opened Schreibikus beer restaurant shares its name with an illustrated character from Soviet-era, German-language textbooks. However, it seems to have little in common with this fictitious journalist other than its interior design, which, like the cartoon reporter, is German.

There is certainly no Soviet-German retro kitsch to be found in this restaurant.

Schreibikus sports a classic German beer-hall interior -- if anything, it's perhaps a little medieval in its execution. The furniture is dark and heavy, the faux windows feature faux stained glass, and the white ceilings are crossed with large wooden beams.

A camera on a tripod may be the token nod to the restaurant's journalist namesake.

Interestingly (for nonsmokers, at least), the nonsmoking section is not just some converted broom closet. Instead, the section is a full-fledged hall, which is substantially larger than the smokers' room.

Schreibikus' menu doesn't lean in any particular direction. There are the classic beer snacks found around town such as dark-bread garlic toasts (120 rubles), chicken wings (260 rubles) and calamari rings with Dor Blu cheese sauce (190 rubles).

But other dishes at Schreibikus are less typical for a beer restaurant and include such variants as potato cakes with salmon (240 rubles), beef carpaccio (290 rubles), chicken with oyster sauce, vegetables and cashews (390 rubles) and sea bass with vegetable concasse (570 rubles).

The imported draft-beer selection comes in at 180 rubles for a half-liter and includes Krusovice dark and light, Spaten and Erdinger unfiltered. Also available is the house beer, which goes for 140 rubles a half-liter of red or unfiltered beer.

67/69 Novoslobodskaya Ul., (499) 978-7441, 10 a.m.-11 p.m., M. Savyolovskaya.