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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Little Berry with Bite

MTBarbaris has soft divans in its back room for casual lounging.
Barbaris, aka barberry, also known in dried form as zereshk, is the berry that gives its name to a new Central Asian restaurant located right downtown. The versatile berry is used to flavor the barbaris hard candy found around this part of the world, but as concerns this restaurant, it's the zereshk variant that's most important.

Barbaris uses zereshk to add a piquant flavor to both its regular lamb plov (350 rubles) as well as vegetarian plov (270 rubles). Barberry is also found in various other sections of the menu including the extensive tea selection (a pot of barberry tea, 200 rubles), the hot cocktails menu (barberry gluhwein, 360 rubles) and even the hookah menu (although here it would seem it is in name only as the listed mix does not include any barberry, 1,500 rubles).

Other than these dishes featuring the distinctively flavored berry, the menu offers a wide range of Uzbek dishes and, interestingly, a couple of Tajik options as well. Tasty Tajik treats include tushbera lamb dumplings with mint (310 rubles) and served in bouillon (275 rubles). For those with a strong constitution, the khash tongue and tripe soup (280 rubles) comes with Tajik beans included.

Naturally there are numerous grilled dishes, including shashliks such as lamb (440 rubles), pork (340 rubles) and lyulya-kebab (420 rubles). There are also three types of samsa available (lamb 320 rubles, herb 320 rubles and pumpkin 320 rubles), which come with a delicious dipping sauce. For the unadventurous, there is also a full European menu.

Wine starts at 220 rubles a glass and draft beer includes three varieties of Hofbrau (light, dark and unfiltered) all for 225 rubles a half-liter.

Barbaris' two rooms are fairly humbly decorated, as are its two sidewalk summer cabins -- but this doesn't serious detract from the restaurant's appeal, which lies in the quality of its Eastern cuisine and tasty berries.

40/3 2nd Tverskaya-Yamskaya Ul. 250-1131, 9 a.m.-11 p.m., M. Belorusskaya.