A Neighborhood Nook

MTHaus Bar's highlight is the open grill in the middle of the dining room.
Hidden inside a lonely courtyard off Prospekt Mira is the recently opened Haus Bar. It is certainly a brave location for this modest, medieval-themed restaurant, as there is no passing traffic except the odd local resident shopping at the grocery store next door. The choice of the historical theme might also sound daring, but its execution turns out to be rather conservative in the end.

Haus Bar's interior may well be aiming to reproduce the atmosphere of Europe in the 14th to 15th centuries, with some small imitation tapestries hanging on the walls. The end result is more like a German beer-hall bar, however. There are plenty of darkwood beams crossing whitewashed walls and heavy-set rustic furniture. An extremely low-ceilinged, second-floor balcony surrounds the main hall, although you would have to be of Lilliputian stature to use it. In the center of the room is a large open grill, above which is suspended a set of plasma screens. On a recent visit, they were showing "Nochnoi Dozor," with the sound faintly audible over the commercial radio that was also playing.

The menu eschews any historical recipes and instead lists a routine repertoire of regular dishes. Salads include Caesar with smoked chicken (200 rubles) or prawns (210 rubles), Greek (170 rubles), roast vegetables (190 rubles) and a creation called Haus Bar with salad leaves, chicken, ham, tongue, mushrooms and tomato (200 rubles).

Vegetarians ordering the bruscetta with tomato, mozzarella and pesto (200 rubles) should watch out for surprise bonus slices of beef or ham.

Mains include such dishes as river trout (330 rubles) or sturgeon (300 rubles) prepared on the open grill, Bavarian sausages with fries and mustard (300 rubles), lamb lyula kebab (320 rubles) and a substantial smoked pork knuckle with sauerkraut (450 rubles).

Three draft beers are available -- Stella Artois (90 rubles), Budweiser (120 rubles) and Hoegaarden (155 rubles). Wines start at 105 rubles for a glass of French red or 100 rubles for French white.

129 Prospekt Mira, 181-2119, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., M. VDNKh.