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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pizza and Flowers, a Phone Call Away

In Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film "Rear Window," Grace Kelly tries to seduce Jimmy Stewart with a fancy, romantic dinner for two delivered to his place by an expensive restaurant. That was 40 years ago, New York, and the movies. Never again could that happen, not in New York, Tokyo or Paris, let alone Moscow. Right?


Wrong. In Moscow, all you have to do is pick up the phone and the world is at your doorstep, for a price. Singing telegrams are hard to come by, but if you are hungry, thirsty, sleepy or simply indoorsy, satisfaction is only a call away. Home delivery is especially important as March, the muddiest month of the year, descends upon us.


?Food. For that "Rear Window" effect, call Potel et Chabot, Moscow's French catering company. This is not for the weak of wallet, although the food is excellent and beautifully presented. For $100 per person, you can have salad, a main course, dessert, cheese and wine brought to you complete with table settings and cloth napkins. A waiter will run you an extra $20 an hour. Lunch and dinner. Tel. 274-0081.


Craving good Chinese takeout? This, too, is possible thanks to Panda, but keep your hat on -- it will cost you. Appetizers go for about $10 and main courses about $20, and it is hardly worth it. Portions are fit for elves. Nevertheless, they say delivery takes no more than 40 minutes. Lunch and dinner. Tel. 298-6565.


Rumor has it that during the August 1991 coup, Yeltsin and Co. ordered pizza delivered to the White House from Pizza Hut. Nowadays you do not have to stand on a tank to get a doughy, greasy pie brought to you. Just a telephone and at least 80,000 rubles -- that is the minimum for home delivery. Lunch and dinner. Credit cards not accepted for delivery. Tel. 229-2013.


Since it opened in 1992, Jack's has consistently cured the lunchtime blues in offices throughout the capital. Chicken salad, BLT, ham and cheese -- the only complaint here is that sometimes the sandwiches are just too big. Otherwise, with a $20 minimum, Jack's is a gem. Bill Anastas, who runs the place, says that soon they will start offering pizza, too. Jack's is changing locations and will be closed from Feb. 28 to March 14, and the new phone number is still unknown.


Until Jack's comes back, sandwich seekers will have to settle for Just Subs, which tries hard but does not quite get it. The salad should go next to the sandwich, not inside. The minimum is $15, and you can get some Ben and Jerry's ice cream for dessert. Open every day from 9 A.M. to midnight. Tel. 243-0109.


?Drink. Tired of lugging bottles of mineral water home from the store? There is an answer. Clearwater will bring you three five-gallon tanks of Finnish mineral water a week for $10, plus an $18 deposit on the tanks and $4 a month for the dispenser. Soon they will offer coolers with hot and cold faucets, which will come in particularly handy when the hot water goes off this summer. Tel. 247-1943.


Solomon Consultants also delivers bottled water, although the company's sphere of delivery is limited to the center. A case of six 2.5 liter bottles costs $14. Tel. 229-1379.


Sleepy from lugging satchels of bad coffee home from the store? Wake up and smell the Java, or Colombia, or Kenya from Montana Coffee Traders. Montana delivers as much coffee as you want whenever you want for $18 a kilo. And it is not a joke -- they do offer coffee from all over, beans or ground. Tel. 271-9280.


?Miscellaneous. With no convenient coin-ops around town (allegedly Khrushchev did try to introduce them after his trip to America), getting your clothes cleaned and pressed can be quite a headache. California Cleaners offers a slightly pricey alternative, although if you are in a hurry, they are a godsend. Actually, the prices are a bit strange: it costs $1 to get a shirt washed and pressed, but $5 for pants. And they do a good job. The home delivery service takes 48 hours, and there are pick-up and delivery points at Sadko Arcade and Park Place. Tel. 497-0005.


Finally, sending flowers is a tough order around here. Priroda (243-5528) will deliver 11 roses for 90,000 rubles, but they will also do attractive bouquets for less.