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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Retro Metro Pulls In

MTMetro's lower floor, with its genuine escalator, left, and subway car.
If only the metro was always this pleasant. Entering the new beer restaurant Metro is like being transported to the twilight zone -- an alternate reality that resembles Moscow's subway, only a happier, more attractive one.

The first floor is a cross between a retro diner and an entry hall in one of the capital's Stalin-era stations. The ceiling even features a mosaic-like mural of aircraft flying overhead, a la Mayakovskaya. Every little touch is authentic, from the light fittings to the maitre d's booth.

The most impressive interiors, however, are on the floor below, reached via a genuine (but nonfunctioning) metro escalator that was salvaged from a renovated station.

The metro-carriage dining room is most striking, with a tiled metro-station wall visible through its windows.

All the downstairs rooms have a '30s art-deco flavor -- the leather-clad armchairs are particularity comfy. Flat-screen televisions show the Nostalgia channel and Sunday nights feature the kind of live band that plays "The Girl From Ipanema."

Your trip on the metro isn't restricted to the interior design. The business cards are styled as Moscow metro tickets and the menu is cleverly designed to resemble a metro map, with each branch offering a different category of food and each stop a different item.

The beer selection is large, with 16 sorts on tap. And while such exotic offerings as Belgium's Timmermans Kriek (155 rubles for 0.25 liters) and Blanche de Bruxelles (205 rubles, 0.5 liters) are admirable, it's the four sorts of excellent house beer (85 rubles, 0.5 liters) that really stand out.

There's a good selection of traditional Russian beer snacks; the garlic bread with smoked cheese (95 rubles) is a particularly good choice.

Kamchatka crab legs sell for 225 rubles per 100 grams (about 520 rubles for one); soups are 135 rubles to 285 rubles; and mains run from 210 rubles for a lamb khinkali dumpling up to 630 rubles for venison chops with sour cherry sauce and asparagus.

While prices aren't outrageous for Moscow, be prepared to trade in your three-month pass for a ticket to dine on this metro.

2/1 Verkhnyaya Radishchevskaya Ul., 915-2818/2919, noon-midnight, M. Taganskaya.