Brighten a Gray Day

MTDi Citta serves tasty, inexpensive pizzas in a light and cheerful setting.
Di Citta is one of those cheap and cheerful cafes with a light, bright interior that makes for a perfect refuge on the dreary gray days that are so common this time of year. Its whitewashed brick walls and beige leather-upholstered furniture give it a summery feel, and quirky illustrations painted on the walls only add to the frivolous atmosphere. The barstool seating along the large front windows is particularly inviting for sun-deprived guests who want to watch the world go by while dining.

Di Citta is primarily a pizzeria and has an open kitchen where diners can watch the pizzas being prepared. Above the kitchen is an elongated chalkboard with descriptions of various pasta dishes and two pizzas. Unfortunately, the tasty-sounding porcini pizza is unavailable, and the other, the alla norma (320 rubles), differs somewhat on the plate from what is found on the menu -- it comes with eggplant, cherry tomatoes and ricotta but minus the zucchini and asparagus found on the blackboard version. Other inconsistancies include an online menu (www.dicitta.ru) with understated prices and pizzas served with seemingly absent ingredients.

These minor points aside, Di Citta does make some tasty pizzas. The selection includes Margherita (220 rubles), a con carne with bacon, pepperoni, Munich sausage, Hungarian sausage, mushrooms and onion (420 rubles) and a seafood pizza with mussels, calamari, cuttlefish and king prawns (460 rubles).

Of course, there are the other dishes common for an Italian restaurant, such as Greek salad (220 rubles) and Caesar salad (chicken -- 285 rubles, tiger prawn -- 360 rubles) as well as various pastas including rigatoni arrabbiata (280 rubles) and lasagna with duck (360 rubles).

Draft beer starts at 170 rubles for a half-liter of Heineken, and a liter of red or white house wine can be had for a reasonable 650 rubles.

From 7 a.m. to midday, Di Citta serves a breakfast menu with the usual selection of eggs, porridges and blini.

Di Citta, 39/6 Dolgorukovskaya Ul., (499) 978-5556, 7 a.m.-midnight, M. Novoslobodskaya.