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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mint Makes a Difference

MTAlthough a relative newcomer, Lemoncello is already drawing crowds.
An inexpensive Italian restaurant with a touch of class is the best way to sum up the recently opened Lemoncello.

Located just a little out of the center in the south of the city, Lemoncello is nonetheless thoroughly urbane. It has the kind of interior you'd expect to find right downtown, perhaps in a Pasta Project or Porto Chervo, with clean, straight lines, lightwood and simple furnishings. Around the walls hang huge photographs of Italian cuisine, while various bottles, pots and jars of Italian foodstuffs provide the requisite home-style touch.

Every table comes with a bottle of mint leaf-laden table water -- a nice touch and a pleasant change from having to order $5 bottles of San Pellegrino mineral water, as at some other "democratic" Italian eateries.

The menu is succinct, offering half a dozen to a dozen different options in each section. Salads start from 135 rubles for chicken with fresh vegetables and climb up to 285 rubles for a tiger-prawn salad. Starters include tartare of salmon at 180 rubles, beef carpaccio at 270 rubles and fried calamari rings at 175 rubles. A cheese plate (310 rubles) also sneaks into this section. Soups are straightforward: minestrone (85 rubles) and four varieties of cream soup (55-90 rubles).

The mains include Venetian-style liver (235 rubles) and turkey fillet (210 rubles) -- but more appealing options are to be found in the pizza and pasta sections.

The six pizzas include margarita (295 rubles), four cheese (375 rubles) and a tasty "Janluka" with ham (425 rubles). The pastas and risottos -- the largest section of the menu with 11 choices -- offer excellent value: 160 rubles buys rigatoni with vegetable julienne, while the risotto with king prawns and black cuttlefish is the most expensive at 310 rubles.

There are two dessert pizzas -- a chocolate pizza (330 rubles) and the sweet pizza "Gourmet" (355 rubles).

The wine is also reasonably priced, at 150 rubles for a glass of red.

32 Bolshaya Serpukhovskaya Ul.
236-1188, 11 a.m.-midnight,
M. Serpukhovskaya.