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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shhhh, Secret Place

MTSecret Place is dimly lit and very small, with just a half-dozen tables.
Secret Place is hard to find. Stashed away on a little backstreet, it's not the kind of spot that draws a lot of passing traffic. What's more, its covert nature is only enhanced by its miniature dimensions: there is space for only five or six tables.

As is appropriate for such a conspiratorial cafe, its interior is dimly lit -- perfect for a secret rendezvous.

The breakfast menu, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., includes fried egg or omelet (100 rubles for either) with a large selection of additional ingredients for 25 rubles each. There are also sandwiches (180 rubles), plus toast (30 rubles) with various toppings (20-180 rubles).

The regular menu features all the Moscow cafe classics. Salads include ruccola with grilled prawns (350 rubles), Greek salad (240 rubles) and fried cheese with tomatoes (300 rubles). The cold starters section lists three varieties of carpaccio -- salmon (280 rubles), beef (260 rubles) and beef tongue (280 rubles). The ever-popular tomato and mozzarella with truffle oil (340 rubles) is also listed. Roast beef (250 rubles) makes an unexpected appearance.

The eight soups listed break no new ground. Chicken noodle soup costs 180 rubles, while seafood soup, the priciest on the menu, goes for 250 rubles.

Fish dishes, such as the Eastern-style salmon steak (360 rubles), go for about 300 to 400 rubles, while meat dishes vary more in price, starting in the mid-300 ruble range for dishes such as chicken in teriyaki sauce with cucumber tartar (350 rubles) and meat baked with mashed potato and porcini (370 rubles) going up to marbled rib-eye steak for 650 rubles. Four varieties of pasta all cost 320 rubles.

The wine selection is decent and includes perfectly palatable Italian red and white house wine for 250 rubles per half-liter, making this an affordable spot for secret after-work drinks.

4 Kaloshin Per., 748-2045, 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri. & Sat. noon-6 a.m., M. Arbatskaya.