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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Classics in Modern Style

MTVinegret is a more sophisticated alternative to Yolki-Palki or Mu-Mu.
Coffee House first branched out into the restaurant game when it opened the Asia Cafe chain of sushi bars in 2004. Businessman Timur Khairutdinov, the man said to be behind Coffee House and Asia Cafe, is now taking on the big boys with the opening of Vinegret, the first in what is to be a series of inexpensive Russian eateries.

Although positioned in the same price bracket as Arkady Novikov's Yolki-Palki and Andrei Dellos' Mu-Mu chain, Vinegret is nonetheless quite different in its approach.

Unlike the cutesy Yolki-Palki and Mu-Mu, Vinegret is quite stylish. The entry-level floor seems best suited to grabbing a quick bite to eat on a busy workday, while the upstairs level is fairly slick given the inexpensive niche that Vinegret is aiming for. There's a chocolate-and-white mural resembling stylized 1970s baroque wallpaper, the lighting is moody and there are plenty of comfortable divans that lend themselves to unhurried lounging.

The menu is printed on brown paper and the prices are appropriately cheap. The most expensive dish is the chicken tabak with garlic sauce at 320 rubles; most dishes average around 200 rubles. The eatery's namesake Russian salad is presented in trendy vertical style, topped with a layer of herring (165 rubles). From noon to 8 p.m. there is a salad bar costing 250 rubles per person for unlimited servings.

There are three soups -- borshch, chicken noodle and solyanka, all for 110 rubles. Mains start at 150 rubles for fried potatoes with mushrooms and onion. Pelmeni go for 180 rubles and beef stroganoff with potatoes costs 230 rubles. Simple snacks include pirogi pies (mushroom, cabbage, meat or apple) for just 15 rubles, or black bread garlic toast for 25 rubles.

The beverage list is surprisingly comprehensive. There are two sorts each of whiskey, rum and tequila (starting from 140 to 150 rubles for 50 grams). Vodka starts at 85 rubles for 50 grams. Red and white Chilean wine cost 150 rubles a glass. Beer starts at 105 rubles for a half-liter of either classic or unfiltered Sibirskaya Korona.

1 Ul. Novy Arbat, Bldg. 2, 9 a.m.-midnight, Sat. & Sun. noon-midnight, M. Arbatskaya.