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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

O.G.I. Goes Neutral

MTNeitralnaya Territoria has typical O.G.I. props but still lacks coziness.
Between the Constitutional Court and the presidential administration's public reception is a pocket of neutral territory. The Neitralnaya Territoria in question is the latest cafe in the O.G.I. chain. And it is certainly situated in no man's land, hidden away in a small courtyard at Kitai-Gorod, dwarfed by the huge government offices that surround it.

This secretive location is appropriate for an O.G.I cafe, given the chain's bohemian leanings -- perfect for conducting conspiratorial negotiations or devious deliberations with your beatnik buddies over mugs of inexpensive beer.

As with the other O.G.I.s, Neitralnaya Territoria serves food for the mind in the form of books, available from its in-house bookshop.

For those looking to sate a more base urge, Neitralnaya Territoria serves food and drinks as well. The house-specialties menu features such humorously titled dishes as the blitzkrieg (180 rubles), which is a large pork sausage served with fried onion, Korean carrot with herbs and a choice of sauces, described as "the best tactic for a sweeping victory over hunger." The non-aggression pact (350 rubles) consists of various German sausages juxtaposed with a selection of Russian salted pickles and cabbage. The Lenten menu includes the Russian half of the non-aggression pact -- the so-called Molotov's signature for 180 rubles.

The remainder of the menu is pretty much what you would expect to find in an O.G.I. There are two salad lists: one "light" consisting primarily of vegetables (70 to 220) and one "sating" (90 to 280 rubles). Soups range from 90 to 180 rubles, fish dishes from 180 to 440 rubles and meat from 130 to 440 rubles. The Italians in Russia section lists five varieties of pasta dishes (220 to 250 rubles).

Draft beer starts at 80 rubles for a half-liter of Sibirskaya Korona, Hoegaarden tops the bill at 150 rubles a half. Fifty grams of Flagman vodka will set you back a very reasonable 40 rubles.

The interior, with its olive-gray walls, drab fittings and dim lighting, is overly sterile. It lacks the coziness of other O.G.I.s, but is strangely appropriate for neutral territory.

14 Novaya Ploshchad, 621-2737, 625-9494, 24 hours, M. Kitai-Gorod.