Restaurant News

Hotel Baltschug Kempinski
After a week of pancake indulgence, the Great Fast is already upon us. For those who are observing Lent, but find they need to eat out, Moscow's restaurants are ready to provide Lent-friendly meals. The Hotel Baltschug Kempinski has introduced its Lenten menu, which will be available until April 26. On the menu are such vegetarian dishes as green salad with fried mushrooms and raspberry sauce (900 rubles), a vegetarian bouillon with ravioli and spinach (650 rubles), young vegetables stuffed with ratatouille and buckwheat (1,000 rubles) and grilled tofu with green asparagus and rice panache (900 rubles, pictured).

1 Ul. Balchug, 230-5500/6500, M. Novokuznetskaya.

Vinoteca Dissident is also providing a Lenten menu, with alternating soups and salads (average price 250 rubles) daily as well as a main course (up to 490 rubles). Dishes on the menu include bean soup with potato, forest-mushroom soup, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and olives on rye bread, Asian-style spicy cucumbers, potato cakes with porcini sauce and rice noodles with vegetables.

Lubyanskaya Ploshchad, Nautilus level 5, 230-5848, M. Lubyanka.

Sirena -- best known for its Mediterranean seafood dishes -- has taken an unexpected culinary turn and launched its own bend of molecular cuisine and traditional flavors. In an offer running until March 30, head chef Antonio Baratto is preparing such unusual dishes as Italian antipasto with liquid mozzarella, Parmesan, anchovies and rucola, soft cream of foie gras with fried sea scallops and porto sauce, and green and white asparagus with basil sauce, strawberries and Parmesan.

15 Bolshaya Spasskaya, 608-1412/0200, M. Sukharevskaya.

With a kind of a ying-yang reciprocity, Malenkaya Yaponia and Soyuz Kompozitorov have both simultaneously updated their menus. Oktyabr Cinema's Japanese eatery Malenkaya Yaponia has added a range of European dishes (but with an Asian twist, such as fried potatoes with meat and shiitake mushrooms), while Soyuz Kompozitorov now serves Japanese cuisine.

Malenkaya Yaponia: 24 Novy Arbat, 203-0930, M. Arbatskaya.

Soyuz Kompozitorov: 8/10 Bryusov Per., Bldg. 2, 629-6563,M. Okhotny Ryad.