Rytsarsky Goes French

MTRytsarsky Club has dropped its Georgian menu in favor of French.
Rytsarsky Club has undergone a complete culinary transformation. The restaurant, which is well liked for its spectacular position perched atop Sparrow Hills, has dropped its Georgian menu in favor of a predominantly French selection. Taking inspiration from the Krynkina restaurant that functioned in its place some 100 years ago, Rytsarsky Club has adopted a historical menu in the spirit of the original restaurant. Besides the menu, little else seems to have changed. The interior remains the same, with the exception of a few new pictures on the walls. The view, naturally, is as panoramic as ever, but still obscured during the summer months by thick verdant foliage outside the windows.

The menu features some Russian choices along with French cuisine and various other miscellaneous dishes, some of which come with elaborate, theatrical names. Salads now include a "salad of the factory worker, who doesn't drink cognac before eating" (480 rubles), which turns out to be ruccola and frisee with avocado, prawns and cherry tomatoes (480 rubles), and a "real salad of Mr. Olivye brought by him from France specially for Russian taste" (880 rubles), which is quail, tiger prawns, smoked eel, red caviar, capers, cornichons and potato. Salads minus whimsical names include three Caesars (smoked chicken -- 350 rubles, tiger prawn -- 420 rubles and ostrich -- 490 rubles).

Soups range from cream of asparagus (300 rubles) and cream of chestnut with bacon (350 rubles) to borshch (250 rubles) and Siberian shchi cabbage soup with porcini (250 rubles). Fish mains start from 520 rubles for fillet of Pangasius with a prawn and avocado sauce, while meat mains begin at 470 rubles for either a pork on the bone Hamburg style with a sauce of pistachio and ruccola, or a "chicken with pickles, which in a Cologne restaurant they dressed up the bill with."

Wines start from 270 rubles a glass and draft beer costs 250 rubles a half-liter of either dark or light Krusovice.

Rytsarsky Club: 28 Ul. Kosygina,

930-0726/6143, 1 p.m.-midnight,

M. Vorobyovy Gory.