A Kitchen Spectacular

MTSpettacolo features a slick modern interior with an open kitchen.
Until now, Moscow's nicest movie theater restaurant would have been the Oktyabr cinema complex's Porto Chervo -- a pleasantly casual Italian eatery run by the Arkady Novikov Group. Porto Chervo has just been usurped by the elite Vremena Goda shopping center's cinema, which now boasts the new Spettacolo eatery. Heading the kitchen is the expat chef duo Natalie Horsting and Nathan Dallimore, who have already made an impression on the capital's dining scene as the chefs at the trendy Denis Simachev Bar.

Unlike Porto Chervo, which is hidden down at the end of a long corridor, Spettacolo is an open-plan restaurant that sits in the foyer of the cinema. Located on the top floor of the shopping center, it gets plenty of light through the ample glass that encases it -- both above and around it. Running along one side is a large open-air balcony that seems to promise some excellent alfresco dining once the weather warms a little more. The open kitchen, with its huge tiled oven, only adds to the casual atmosphere.

The menu lists mainly modern Italian fare. Salads include ruccola, Parmesan and pear (240 rubles), tomato salad with shallots (280 rubles) and chorizo vegetable salad (440 rubles). Soups start from 320 rubles for tomato and basil soup and reach up to 500 rubles for bisque with Canadian lobster, garlic croutons and a tomato concasse. The pastas section includes a range of pesto rigatoni dishes (with chicken -- 420, crab or grilled shrimp -- 760 rubles), crab ravioli with chili, cream bisque and herb salad (570 rubles) and spaghetti with lamb ragout, artichoke and cherry tomato (520 rubles). Lasagna costs 260 rubles. Pizzas start at 320 rubles for a puttanesca with olives, capers, anchovies, thyme and oregano, while the most expensive is the "luxury" pizza with lobster, scallops, prawns and fresh mussels at 760 rubles.

Wine starts from 290 rubles a glass. Draft beers all cost 260 rubles a half-liter and include Spaten and Franziskaner.

Spettacolo: 48 Kutuzovsky Prospekt, 5th floor of the Vremena Goda
shopping center, 662-4257, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.,
M. Park Pobedy.