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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Cozy Eatery Where It's All in the Family

For MTStanislavskogo 2, one of the oldest privately owned restaurants in Moscow, only receives guests who've been recommended.
Most people have passed Stanislavskogo 2 without even knowing it. With its tiny silver sign and glowing interior that can be seen from the street, it doesn't look much different from an ordinary living room -- and it's not.

Stanislavskogo 2 is one of the oldest privately owned restaurants in Moscow, and it may be one of just a handful that is family owned and run. Rosalie Korodzievskaya watches the simmering pots in the kitchen while her daughter Emily Souptel serves and chats to the customers.

Before opening the restaurant in 1989, Souptel and Korodzievskaya were living in the apartment above -- and when the neighbors below moved out, they knew exactly what they would do with the space.

"People thought we were crazy then, but we proved them wrong very quickly," said Souptel.

At first, the menu was partly Greek, and the restaurant was open from noon until last guest. Two chefs worked almost full time, and Souptel said lines would go around the block.

"We would tell people to go for a walk for two hours and then come back so they would fit in -- but sometimes there was just not enough space," she said.

By 1992, the restaurant's popularity meant that its hours had become impossible. Korodzievskaya was not happy with the Soviet style of chefs, who cooked in large, bland quantities; the generic approach did not fit the unique clientele, which included Boris Yeltsin.

Marina Kamenev / For MT
Souptel is Stanislavskogo 2's maitre d'.
"My mother knew she could do a better job," said Souptel.

The menu became Russian, and the interior more individual. Walk-in customers were stopped, and the policy became reservation by recommendation only.

While there is a menu, customers are encouraged to have the dishes of the day, especially when something has just popped out of the oven. The wine and beer list is small and select.

Most customers know Souptel and Korodzievskaya by name. Musicians from the nearby Conservatory come by to play the piano, and sometimes Souptel, who is a trained musician, also plays.

Korodzievskaya -- who still lives above -- is often called from the kitchen to greet her guests. The beaming chef laughed when she recalled the last time this happened.

"I raised my glass and said this is a diamond of a restaurant because of the guests. I wanted to congratulate everyone here tonight on their great taste," she said.

1 Leontyevsky Per., M. Pushkinskaya. Open from 6 p.m. Reservation by recommendation only -- call Emily Souptel on (+7 903) 589-0616.