Like Sugar 'n' Spice

MTNice Cafe offers a trendy and sumptuous setting with prices to match.
Nice Cafe is one of those Moscow restaurants that resemble an opulent boudoir belonging to some decadent European aristocrat. Its over-the-top interior spares no gilding in its pursuit of pretentiousness. The rich red color scheme is trimmed with ample gold highlighting, and numerous works of art grace the walls. As is flavor of the moment, there are plenty of paisley swirls patterned across the walls and furniture. It's certainly nothing if not sumptuous.

Nice Cafe is also a spacious restaurant and boasts a large "contact" bar -- a bar where guests can actually sit and drink, which is not as common as one might expect in restaurants of this ilk. Indeed, with low-key disco music playing in the background, it would appear that Nice Cafe is aiming to catch the pre party crowd before it heads out to the capital's more upmarket clubs.

The menu offers a collection of today's most popular dishes. There is a fresh vegetable salad (280 rubles), tuna tartare (420 rubles) and duck breast with raspberry sauce (480 rubles). Crab with pineapple costs 520 rubles. Mussel saute costs 1,600 rubles, and seafood spaghetti goes for 670 rubles.

Other dishes include chicken breast with porcini (520 rubles), Mediterranean seafood (520 rubles), grilled sea bass or dorado (700 rubles), rib-eye steak (960 rubles), and a more modest chicken cutlet with potato (440 rubles).

Wine starts at 350 rubles a glass, while beer is bottled and costs 200 rubles for 330 milliliters of Corona Extra.

Nice Cafe, 7 Stoleshnikov Per., Bldg. 2, 629-2412, noon-midnight, M. Teatralnaya.