U Shveika Reinvented

MTAt U Shveika floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to see Novy Arbat.
Just over 10 years ago, Moscow saw the opening of Europe's then-largest mall, the Okhotny Ryad shopping center, which brought a new level of glitz to the city's nascent mall developments. Along with its gaudy gold trim and fancy decor, the Manezh also introduced the capital's first food court and, located just next to it, a slick new Czech beer restaurant -- U Shveika.

Over the last decade, Moscow has seen the creation of countless new and larger malls, bigger food courts and numerous new Czech beer restaurants, including the Pilsner Urquell chain. Along the way, the Okhotny Ryad shopping center seemed to lose some of its shine, outclassed by its new bigger and better rivals. Similarly, the once-posh U Shveika was starting to look a little jaded.

U Shveika has now received a new lease on life with its closure at the Okhotny Ryad location and reopening on Novy Arbat, and the new venue is certainly an improvement. Situated on the second floor, the first thing that strikes upon entering is the sweeping view from the floor-to-ceiling windows that run across the face of the restaurant. U Shveika adds to the airy atmosphere by shunning a heavy, wood interior and opting instead for a modern, cream color scheme.

The draft beer selection features several Czech imports, such as Krusovice (210 rubles a half-liter) and Bakalar light and dark (both 210 rubles). Other imports include German Hofbrau (240 rubles) and English Marston ale (250 rubles). Inexpensive options include three draft house beers -- light filtered and unfiltered (both 110 rubles) and dark (115 rubles).

The food selection is largely a mixture of Czech and Russian offerings. Beer snacks include Russian favorites such as garlic toasts (90 rubles), boiled prawns (248 rubles), and boiled crayfish (three critters for 210 rubles) and Czech specialties such as two sorts of speck pig fat (both 180 rubles) and fried pig ears with vegetables (280 rubles). As should be expected, there is a variety of sausages (178 to 245 rubles), with an assorted plate costing 360 rubles.

15 Novy Arbat Ul., Bldg. 1, 202-4430, 545-7018, 11 a.m.-midnight, M. Arbatskaya.