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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

All That Glitters at Gold

MTGold is stunningly ostentatious for a small cafe hidden in a courtyard.
You'll find it tucked away in a diminutive courtyard off a small side street by Tverskaya Ulitsa. Inside the nondescript yard, you'll need to ring an unmarked doorbell before someone will come and let you in. You get the impression that Gold Cafe doesn't attract a lot of passing traffic.

As the name suggests, Gold Cafe is not a restrained kind of place -- there's more gold here than in the Kremlin Armory. The leather-clad bar is golden, the performance stage is golden, the air conditioners are golden, even the coffee machine is golden. And whatever's not golden is crimson -- crimson chiffon dividers, a crimson sofa swing hanging from the ceiling, crimson roses on the walls, crimson roses on the floor. Not a modicum of modesty to be seen anywhere.

The menu, on the other hand, is far from over-the-top. The dishes served are pretty much what you'd expect to find at any fashionable Moscow eatery, although the prices are still quite reasonable.

Starters include tartare of avocado and salmon (310 rubles) and julienne of forest mushrooms baked with Parmesan, cream and served with croutons (280 rubles). Salads include a warm seafood salad under an "il pomodoro" sauce (380 rubles) and a Milan-style salad with ruccola, cherry tomatoes, grilled prawns and Parmesan (390 rubles). Pasta dishes start at 180 rubles for vegetable penne. Mains include grilled beef sirloin with a cream sauce of mushrooms and goat's cheese served with vegetables (490 rubles), and dorado fried with lime and garlic served with cauliflower (590 rubles). The most expensive main on the menu is the New Zealand steak at 690 rubles. The dessert list is ample and runs from such humble dishes as apple strudel (160 rubles) up to the more indulgent blini stuffed with mascarpone and served with fresh strawberry confiture and whipped cream (260 rubles).

Wine is reasonably inexpensive, starting at 160 rubles for a glass of Chilean white -- but on a recent visit there must have just been a gold rush, as it was all sold out, and 320 rubles was the cheapest white to be had.

1a Kozitsky Per., 650-3836, noon-last guest, Fri. & Sat. noon-5 a.m., M. Pushkinskaya.