Now here’s some food for thought. It seems Russian celebs have developed an appetite for haute cuisine as well as haute couture: over the past year, Moscow has seen several stars open high-end eateries.
One of the most popular premieres this fall was a restaurant opened by Russian filmmaker Andrey Konchalovsky and his wife. Known in the West for his Hollywood works Tango and Cash, Konchalovsky’s new foodie project is called Yornik. The art-deco interior is matched by a trendy menu.
If you fancy something a little more traditional, actor Oleg Menshikov’s new place Chemodan offers Siberian cuisine. Menshikov is best-known for starring in Nikita Mikhalkov’s 1994 Oscar-winning drama Burned by the Sun. It seems perhaps his dishes were a little burned as well, however: the restaurant got poor reviews.
For atmosphere, there’s Ruki Vverh! (Hands Up!) The owner is the frontman of a popular band of the same name, famous for its pumping beats and primitive rhymes. Legend of Russia’s 90s discotheques Sergey Zhukov opted for an interior packed with artifacts of 1990s pop culture, with portraits of celebs and plenty of nostalgic trash from a critical period in the country’s history and music.
Other restaurant owners choose celebs to promote their joints. Bublik in central Moscow is owned by restaurant heavyweight firm Ginza Project. But the name on the entrance says Ksenia Sobchak’s Café: the It-girl TV host is the daughter of the deceased Mayor of St. Petersburg and the girlfriend of Moscow’s Culture Department head.
If you plan a visit to any of these, you could well rub shoulders with Moscow’s rich and powerful. But be prepared to pay big bucks for your big night out.