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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ask the Chef

MT
Eric le Provos, of France, is the head chef at The Most.

Best dish
"Un petit sale au lentilles: ham that is salted, then cooked in bouillon, and after, if you want, you can roast it, but most important are the lentils. I love lentils -- green lentils. It's rustic but it's excellent."

Most popular dish
"Kamchatka crab on a light celery mousse and blackcurrant sauce."

Favorite dish
"Filet of cod grilled a la plancha on only three sides, served on glazed courgette with girolles and oyster sauce."

Favorite (other) restaurant in Moscow
"It is always the same: Cantinetta Antinori. The chef is Marco Zampieri. It is an Italian cuisine that is very simple but very good. There is not a lot of chichi: It is about the products. Everything is cooked as it should be, and it's very good."

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten
"There is a taste here, that I don't really understand: everything that is salted or pickled. It's a taste that is too aggressive for me. Even with vodka, which I enjoy. The other thing I am astonished that people can eat is anything wrapped in vine leaves, like dolmas. The first time that I tasted that, I was left wide-eyed, looking at the people around me and thinking, 'This won't go down.'"

Do you try to be authentic or adapt the cuisine to the local market?
"As people say, 'there are no good chefs, if there aren't good ingredients.' Authenticity involves maximum search, constantly, for the best ingredients. Especially here, where ... we are constrained by the market."

Comment on the local dining scene
"Very few restaurants are welcoming. You may return 10 to 12 times, but you'll never be recognized. There is also that flamboyant quality of the newly rich and waiters no longer have respect for the client, just how much he will tip. The atmosphere is superficial. People judge by the look of the client, but sometimes they make a mistake. The problem is double-edged. The profession of a waiter is not considered a career path. ... The service in Moscow is arrogant, and I wouldn't be surprised if the waiters in Courchevel were the same now because it is the very rich society that disrespects [the profession]."

The Most, 6/3 Kuznetsky Most, 660-0708, M. Okhotny Ryad/Kuznetsky Most.

Cantinetta Antinori, 20, Denezhny Per., 241-3325, M. Smolenskaya.