Articles by Nathan Toohey



Wall St. Watering Hole

Wall St. Bar, as the name might suggest, is positioning itself as a place for stock traders and the like to unwind after a hard day working the markets.

Summertime Swan Lake

Last year, Kak na Kanarakh was ""the"" summer spot. Created by the people behind Solyanka night club and cafe, the pontoon restaurant was a virtual floating resort on the river beside Gorky Park, complete with a swimming pool and deck chairs.

At Home in Dom i Ko

Natura Viva with its unusual colonial theme, has passed into the history books, and in its place has arrived Dom i Ko. Unusual is not the word needed to describe this new restaurant, however.

Diky Ris Hits the Center

The opening of the original Diky Ris late last year was promising, as the democratic Japanese eatery offered more than just the typical selection of sushi, sashimi and rolls, including some other Asian cuisine.

Restaurant News

Meaty Treats at Torro

The first Torro Grill opened at a shopping center in southern Moscow in February, 2007. A little over a year later, Torro Grill No. 2 has opened, this time much closer to the center. Not only is the new grill house better located, it also has more serious lodgings, with its own separate entrance from the street.

Restaurant Called Cafe

Given the crowds of the well-to-do spilling out of the upmarket restaurant Aist, it would seem that rumors of its fading mojo are exaggerated.

A Democratic Debut

According to the staff of the recently opened Dem restaurant, ""Dem"" is short for ""democratic,"" which seems fairly appropriate. The cafe, as it calls itself, is indeed democratic in the egalitarian sense of the word, or at least the atmosphere is.

Restaurant News

Finding a New Guroo

The veteran Indian/Thai restaurant Guroo has just opened a second branch -- this time right downtown. The original has been around for years, so it is somewhat a surprise to see its sudden expansion.

Southern South Korean

You could call Sammi the secret Korean restaurant. Its location is certainly hard to find -- there's absolutely no way you could just stumble upon it while walking by.

Restaurant News

The city's restaurants continue to unveil their summer terraces, patios and balconies. The Pinocchio chain of upmarket restaurants has simultaneously opened three summer outdoor options.

Designer Coffeehouse

Design guru Artemy Lebedev has certainly branched out with his latest creation -- a diminutive cafe on Bolshaya Nikitskaya called Lavka Artemia Lebedeva.

Rytsarsky Goes 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.

Piano Strikes a Chord

Piano is your typical local’s local restaurant. It has few pretensions, yet is nonetheless formal in its presentation. The interior is basically one large, dark beige hall.

Restaurant News

Smelt at St. Petersburg

Nothing heralds the arrival of spring in St. Petersburg more surely than the appearance of smelt on the Northern capital's menus. It is a tradition to ring in the new season with a large helping of these fine fish. Now Muscovites have the chance to partake in this tradition, as local restaurant SPB is flying in fresh St. Petersburg smelt daily.

Fish Tanks and Fugu

Yet another Japanese eatery opening may not seem very remarkable in a city that is host to hundreds of sushi bars, but the new Misato restaurant is noteworthy for several reasons.

Baking the Daily Bread

The Le Pain Quotidien chain certainly has lots of buns in the oven. In less than a year, it has expanded across Moscow, opening bakery cafes not only in new shopping centers, but also in more appealing locations, such as the pedestrian-only Kamergersky Pereulok.

A Revamped Vinograd

Given the continuing popularity of The Real McCoy among fun-loving expats, it would seem to be a safe bet that if the people behind it chose to open another such establishment, then it would soon be guaranteed a loyal expat following.

Restaurant News

Bocconcino, the upmarket pizzeria restaurant that recently opened a second establishment out at the posh Vremena Goda shopping center on Kutuzovsky Prospekt, has just expanded its new restaurant.

Steakhouse Surprise

It was only late last year when, with great fanfare and much news coverage, Grande Bouffe opened with its celebrity chef Stalik Khankishiyev, backed by restaurateurs Dmitry Borisov and Dmitry Yampolsky of Jean-Jacques, Apshu and Mayak fame.

A Bar for High Fliers

Riding the lift up 21 floors to reach Kalina Bar is an enjoyable experience in itself. The glass elevator provides an impressive view across the city -- in fact, the view may be better than from the restaurant itself. But even there, the view is impressive, making the Kalina Bar one of Moscow's top places to gaze out over the city while you eat.

Fit for a Thrifty Feast

If you're looking for an old-school banquet hall with prices that are hard to beat, then Pakhlava certainly fits the bill. It's huge, with a main hall that could certainly fit at least 200 people -- according to its business card.

Ossetian Pies and More

Moscow's boutique bakery scene keeps getting better as more and more specialty patisseries and bread shops open around town. One of the most recent to open is Tri Piroga, or three pies.

Restaurant News

Fashionably Alfresco

Modus follows the fashion-cafe formula so faithfully that you could almost think it was parodying its fellow followers of fashion. The color scheme features plenty of cream and chocolate tones, and naturally, there are paisley patterns on the curtains and cushion covers. There are framed black-and-white photos of fashion models and the like.

Suburban Georgian

Barbaris is the kind of restaurant that is becoming increasingly hard to find in the center. Rising rents have been squeezing out small democratic cafes, which are being replaced by upmarket fine-dining establishments and cafes run by the big-chain restaurateurs. Luckily, further out from the center, these reasonably priced, down-to-earth eateries can still be found -- Barbaris is one such cafe.

Rassol Guten Morgen

Every individual has their own personal hangover cure -- for some it's Berocca fizzy vitamins, for others it's a hair of the dog that bit you. Rassol, or pickle brine, has been the cure of choice among Russians from time immemorial. This is not just some folklore remedy -- it even has its backers among the medical community.

A Kitchen Spectacular

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.