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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mi Piace Hits Tverskaya

MTNothing at Mi Piace will make you pull a face like the girl on the logo.
The Mi Piace chain opened several years ago with what would have to be one of the most eye-catching promotional campaigns the capital's restaurant scene has witnessed.

Billboards around town featuring a black-and-white photo of a young girl pulling a funny face had people wondering just what is this new Italian restaurant. The photograph in question is by renowned French fashion photographer and music video director Jean-Baptiste Mondino, and has become the restaurant's unconventional logo. (If you like Mondino's work, "Two Much," a coffee-table book of his photos with the grimacing girl on the cover, can be found at Bookberry.)

The fast-growing Mi Piace chain has won many fans over the last few years, so its new eatery right downtown in the short-lived Fauchon delicatessen's former location is sure to be a hit.

The two-level eatery has a simple, modern interior design that takes its lead from the billboard campaign with numerous black-and-white photos of people, most of whom are eating. The most striking and pleasant feature, however, is the huge windows, perfect for people-watching out on Tverskaya.

The menu does not differ from the other Mi Piace restaurants. There are 18 varieties of pizza, calzone and focaccia that range in price from 100 rubles for focaccia up to 490 rubles for the marino seafood pizza. There are also four sorts of dessert pizzas, all for 290 rubles. Guests may mix and match their own ingredients to create a personal pizza, which may be a good idea as some pepperoni pizza ingredients seemed to be AWOL on a recent visit.

The salad list includes the "Mi Piace," combining latuca, oak leaf lettuce and ruccola with pear, passionfruit and grilled salmon (350 rubles), as well as tartares (all 290 rubles) and carpaccios (230-290 rubles). Pasta dishes include a tasty vegetarian lasagne (290 rubles), plus all the other classics (180-390 rubles), and you can mix and match sauces to pasta types.

Although the menu lists various alcoholic beverages, the restaurant was recently only serving bottled beer (Heineken 110 rubles, Corona and Erdinger 130 rubles, all 330 milliliters).

7 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya Ul., 970-1129, 11 a.m.-midnight, M. Belorusskaya.