Artistic Italian Flavor

MTIt may be a newcomer, but Nostro Cafe has already mastered fine food.
Nostro Cafe very much has the feel of an archetypal Ostozhenka cafe. It's slick and professional and definitely has a moneyed air. As is common in such establishments, it is minimally furnished but spruced up with some modern art and numerous nostalgic black-and-white photographs of Italy and its inhabitants hanging around the walls. There are plans for the artworks to be changed on a regular basis, and they are available for sale.

Given its location on the "Golden Mile," it's not surprising that the menu is quite pricey. There are the staple salads that you expect to find in such a cafe: Caesar, caprese and Greek (all 350 rubles), plus some Russian classics such as olivye and vinegret (both 350 rubles). Soups include mushroom, asparagus, minestrone, ukha, solyanka and borshch, all of which sell for 300 rubles. Following in this simplified pricing system, all the pastas sell for 400 rubles, including spaghetti with olive oil and chili, penne arrabbiata, farfalle with cheese and pappardelle with porcini. Main courses include leg of lamb with thyme sauce, zucchini and mushroom (600 rubles), Thai-style chicken (550 rubles) and beef Stroganoff (420 rubles). There is also a grill menu with various meaty dishes such as marbled steak (680 rubles), rack of lamb (650 rubles) and beef tenderloin (650 rubles). Fish dishes include sea bass (600 rubles), salmon steak (500 rubles) and king prawns (530 rubles). Desserts include tiramisu and panna cotta (both 150 rubles) as well as Russian medovik (120 rubles). Overall, the wine list is fairly expensive, but both red and white are available by the glass for 160 rubles.

2/14 Lopukhinsky Per., 782-2550, noon-midnight, M. Park Kultury.