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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Place for Pescetarians

MTRybnoye Mesto has a casual atmosphere with the feel of the seaside.
Light and breezy with a view of the water -- that's the first impression one gets when visiting Rybnoye Mesto. The sun streams through huge windows facing the Moscow River, bathing the restaurant in daylight. The interior is refreshingly free of over-the-top opulence, with simple wooden floorboards, some blue-tiled walls and others white-trimmed with blue, and blue-and-white striped chairs. Altogether the design evokes the atmosphere of a sunny seaside cafe.

As is the trend these days, Rybnoye Mesto calls itself a Mediterranean restaurant, although it has an Adriatic slant. Compared with the Porto Maltese chain, Rybnoye Mesto looks more democratic but is actually more upscale, especially in the wine department.

Salads range from 190 rubles for a fresh vegetable salad up to 1,100 rubles for a Mediterranean seafood salad seasoned with cognac on a bed of Romano leaves. Cold starters begin at 190 rubles for a modest Russian-style herring and climb to 1,300 rubles for the a la Stendhal, a duet of black and red caviar with sea bass and salmon carpaccio. Soups are reasonable, starting at 120 rubles for red or white buzara soup; sturgeon ukha is the most expensive at 310 rubles. Of course, there is a good range of seafood sold by weight and prepared according to the guest's wishes, including cuttlefish for 130 rubles, mussels 170 rubles, salmon 190 rubles, octopus 390 rubles, all per 100 grams. A grilled seafood assortment costs 910 rubles.

Rybnoye Mesto has monthly specials focusing on different items of seafood. The recent black-cod special menu served some particularly tasty dishes, a black-cod steak (990 rubles with a complimentary glass of white wine) that was particularly delicious baked in ginger sauce with a Dalmatian side dish (150 rubles) consisting of spinach, potato, garlic and olive oil.

The wine list is decent, with glasses starting at 170 rubles and bottles at 1,020 rubles. On a recent visit, however, there was a wine shortage worthy of a Gorbachev-era crackdown, resulting in severely curtailed choices with the cheapest bottle starting at 1,580 rubles.

On weekdays, from noon to 4 p.m., there is a 20 percent discount on the menu.

1/15 Krasnokholmskaya Nab., 911-1105, noon-midnight, M. Taganskaya.