Hot Choc to Warm Up

MTBefittingly, Moka D'Oro's interior gleams in chocolatey-coffee tones.
Moka D'oro describes itself as a "city cafe," which seems quite an apt description given that it follows the city cafe formula closely. The coffee-colored interior is pretty slick, but at the same time rather cozy. There are white, leather sofas for lounging on and a large hot chocolate machine churning away on the bar. Probably its most unusual feature is the tiled slope -- presumably a wheelchair access ramp -- that leads down the pretentious, colonnaded front entrance.

Moka D'oro doesn't take any risks when it comes to the menu, offering flavor-of-the moment Italian dishes. There's salmon tartare (220 rubles), beef carpaccio (200 rubles) and tomato caprese with mozzarella (180 rubles). Salads include Caesar (220 rubles), Greek (200 rubles) and a Parma ham salad (230 rubles). Hot starters include baked mussels (270 rubles) and a selection of a dozen snails in garlic butter (270 rubles). The mains selection is a real mixed bag, eclectically ranging from such classics as baked sea bass with mozzarella (750 rubles) and grilled king prawns with bacon (300 rubles) to odd choices such as buffalo chicken wings (180 rubles) and potato fried with mushrooms (180 rubles). The restaurant reasserts its Italian personality with six pasta dishes, starting at 200 rubles with either a cheese sauce or with mushrooms. There are five types of pizza starting at 250 rubles for margarita.

Moka D'Oro opens at 10 a.m., so students of the nearby Plekhanov Institute can breakfast on a selection of fried eggs and omelets for 110 to 150 rubles.

Wine starts at 80 rubles a glass for either red or white, and the thick hot chocolate goes for 100 rubles.

2 Ul. Shchipok, 228-0062, 237-5987, 10 a.m.-11 p.m., M. Serpukhovskaya.