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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Seeing Voices in Sixth Sense's Silence

MTSesto Senso's bar concept has customers sitting on toilet seats at bathroom-sink beer taps.
Sesto Senso is a most unusual restaurant, but only in the very best of ways. From the eclectic interior design to the pour-it-yourself beer, it offers lots of surprises. Perhaps most surprising of all is that it's bilingual -- with the second language being sign.

Sesto Senso is a deaf-friendly restaurant where most of the employees are hearing-impaired themselves. However, this may not be immediately obvious to first-time visitors until they spot the staff signing to one another. Ordering verbally is no problem.

The restaurant's manager, Irina Karpova, said the idea came when the owner, who at that time owned only one cafe, the Ruslan (now called Verona), found the place pleasantly devoid of noise. It turned out that a large group of deaf people was celebrating at the restaurant. "Of course, this is not the main reason we decided to create Russia's first restaurant for deaf people," said Karpova. "Drawing society's attention to the problem, and helping solve in some small way the huge problems in the world of the deaf, is the main purpose of our work."

Besides this, Sesto Senso is also noteworthy for several other reasons. A bar splits the restaurant into a conventional main dining room and a smaller space with a row of tiny tables along the wall. Above each table is a beer tap from which guests can serve themselves draft unfiltered Pyaty Okean house beer while an individual meter counts the milliliters (125 rubles for 500 milliliters). Upon closer inspection, it turns out rather playfully that the stools are actually toilets with their lids down and the diminutive tables are glass-topped sinks with a beer tap taking the place of where the faucet would be. A mirror and lamp complete each set. (The owner also runs a bathroom fitting business -- let the staff know if anything catches your eye, as all the models are available for sale).

Like Verona, Sesto Senso serves Italian cuisine, which is probably the most conservative aspect of the restaurant. The food here is a notch above that at Verona, however. The regular menu features all the classics of Italian cuisine, such as carpaccio (salmon 276 rubles, duck with peach 293 and beef 311 rubles) and various pastas including classical (spaghetti carbonara 371 rubles, spaghetti bolognese 378 rubles), vegetarian (parpadelle with porcini 351 rubles, four cheese penne 339 rubles) and delectable seafood options (fettuccini "Vis-a-vis" with crab meat, spinach, red caviar and mascarpone 455 rubles, "Mediterranean aroma" spaghetti with scampi, mussels and other mixed seafood 584 rubles). A 20 percent discount is offered to all hearing impaired guests, who also get first priority when booking tables.

Attached to the restaurant is a cute little deli offering salads, pastas and various other prepackaged gourmet goods, such as cakes, chocolates and coffee.

3 Novospassky Per., korpus 1, entrance from Ul. Bolshiye Kamenshchiki, 911-3653,

10 a.m.-11 p.m., M. Taganskaya,