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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Home for Bohos

MTKvartira 44 is ideal for idling away the hours with books and beverages.
It wasn't so long ago that finding an arty bar with a bohemian public was no mean feat. And if you found one, you wouldn't expect much in the food department. But then the likes of Jean-Jacques and Mayak appeared, and the artistically inclined could trade in their beer and nuts for wine and cheese.

Poets and painters now have one more place for pontification, with the recent opening of Kvartira 44 just off Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa. Opened by the team behind the OGIs, Jean-Jacques and Mayak, this latest eatery has a similar vibe to their previous endeavors.

Its name means Apartment 44, and it does indeed resemble a small two-story apartment, like one shared in university days. Its various small rooms (including one nonsmoking) are cute and cozy, with shelves piled with books and other knickknacks scattered about -- the kind of place where beard-stroking beatnik types take turns reading aloud from well-thumbed books.

The menu is similar to that at Jean-Jacques or Mayak, offering inexpensive European cafe fare. A smoked chicken salad costs 210 rubles, a ruccola, paprika and parmesan salad goes for 220 rubles, baked mussels with cheese are a little more at 280 rubles, while a rather modest cheese plate with three grapes costs 290 rubles. Soups start at 150 rubles for borshch and go up to 180 rubles for a thick fish soup. Mains include chicken breast with vegetables, tarragon and lime (220 rubles) and sole with oyster mushrooms and potato (270 rubles). Flavor-of-the-moment Ossetian cheese pie costs 100 rubles.

The drinks menu is decent, with house wine starting at 120 rubles a glass, and there is a good selection of bottles on the wine list. Draft beers include Sibirskaya Korona at 100 rubles for a half-liter, Staropramen for 130 rubles or Hoegaarden for 170 rubles.

This is the kind of place where people come to sit for hours -- and the free Wi-Fi only encourages dawdling -- so it's best to book if you want to be sure of a table, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

22/2 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ul. (entry from Khlynovsky Tupik), 291-7503, 11 a.m.-midnight, Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-6 a.m. M. Biblioteka Imeni Lenina.