The Lotus Eaters
A plastic table and chairs, an umbrella with pigeons, throwaway cups … no, this is not our idea of dining al fresco. But there are some restaurants in Moscow which make an effort to create a welcoming space for dining outside.
Situated not far from the centre of town, yet guests get a feeling of being in the countryside. The summer patio is in Italian style – green, with many plants and flowers, a lawn, a fountain, and illuminated in the evening. The place to go for fish and seafood specialties – ingredients are brought fresh from the Mediterranean. The mandatory sushi-bar is also outside.
Good wine menu.
Live music from 8 pm. Seats 50.
8 Mosfilmovskaya Ul., in front of the entrance to Mosfilm studio, M. Kievskaya, (095) 143 8887
The veranda follows the traditions of a family-owned Italian restaurant – cozy, green and quiet, with a lovely balcony on the upper level. Rattan furniture and pillows. Music in the background. The menu is lighter for the summer season: cream soup from arugula and crab meat, avocado with shrimps, steamed veal served with light tomato sauce and zucchini. Seats 80.
Noon to midnight, 20 Denezhny Pereulok, M. Smolenskaya, (095) 241 3325
The wooden summer terrace is situated behind the restaurant’s building, which means that car noises and dust from the street won’t spoil your impressions of the specialties from the summer and grill menus. The many flowers and green plants, and the mass of white tablecloths, tents, and umbrellas might make you think that you’re in Nice. Gas heaters to keep you warm. Seats 70.
Noon to midnight, 19/2 Seleznyovskaya Ul., M. Novoslobodskaya, (095) 692-4042
Everything that you want on a summer terrace – wooden tables and benches, plants and flowers, sofas with mattresses and pillows, a chill-out area under a tent and umbrellas, plaids and gas heaters to keep you warm. The char-grill is outside and offers summer specials: chicken steak; shashlik from pork, veal and seafood, stuffed veal, lamb ribs, baked potatoes and grilled vegetables. Martini cocktails from the bar. Live music on Fridays and Saturdays after 21:00. Seats 100.
Sun-Thu noon to midnight, Fri-Sat noon to 2:00, 9 Bolshoy Tolmachevsky Per., M. Tretyakovskaya, (095) 937 3750
The summer terrace is planted with apples trees and weeping willows. The rattan furniture, soft pillows, loose covers and light curtains make for an airy feel. There is a spacious tent above the veranda and a 17 metre-long bar made out of a Wenge tree. Gas heaters and wool plaids keep out the chill. On the menu we like the soup with calamari and dill, veal tails with fois-gras, and berry soup for dessert. Good mojitos. Seats 100.
from Friday 21:00 to 6:00 Sunday, 27 Ul. Petrovka, M. Chekhovskaya, (095) 937 4544
|Kavkazskaya Plennitsa |
The summer veranda is situated in the inner yard. There are wooden tables and chairs, flower beds and plants. The menu is Caucasian. The fish pond has live trout which can be cooked upon request on a char-grill. Barrel beer. If you like to eat in private you can ask for a cabin. Music in the background. Seats 150.
Noon to midnight, 36 Prospekt Mira, M. Prospekt Mira, (095) 280 5111
The restaurant is situated in a house built in the 18th century. It belonged to Count Orlov who was famous for his generosity and the parties he held for high society. The blossoming bushes and formal terraces, summer-houses and fountains in the surrounding park create a truly bucolic atmosphere. One summer house has pillows and a hookah, others have tables and chairs. The menu combines European, French and Russian cooking. The summer menu offers shashlik, traditional Russian chilled soups, and drinks like kvas. Seats 50.
Open from 12:00 to 24:00, 2 Verhny Mihailovsky Proyezd, M. Leninsky Prospekt, Shabolovskaya, (095) 954 0740/0583
This season the veranda gets a new look – it resembles a country-house orangerie, with a glass roof, chairs in light cotton slipcovers, deep sofas and lots of green plants. There is also a balcony from where you can enjoy a view of the Moscow River while sipping light cocktails and fresh juices. This season they have a special menu for the veranda, including pancetta with tuna, French puff pies with various fillings, lamb with fruit and nuts. The sorbets are made according to traditional recipes. Seats 100.
From 11:00 till last diner, 12/8 Savvinskaya Nab., M. Kievskaya, Smolenskaya, (095) 246 3240
There are no chestnuts in blossom, but everything else here makes you think that you might be in Paris. The terrace is in the quiet courtyard, set back from the main street, and Paris seems not too far away when the accordion player starts, and you are sitting under the umbrellas. The chef presents a changing summer menu with fresh market produce.
7 Stoleshnikov Per., M. Okhotny Ryad, (095) 229 2412
The setting is unusual – a boat pier on the Moscow River where you can just sit and relax by the water and look at all the activity around you. There are catamarans for rent, a beach, a playground for children, a volleyball ground and table tennis. The restaurant is on a sloping level. The cooking for summer emphasizes chilled soups (traditional Russian okroshka, sorrel soup, gazpacho) and spring lamb on a roasting skewer. Weekends there is a buffet table.
2 km off Ilyinskoye Shosse, (095) 504 1269
Just a few steps off Tverskaya you can find an escape from Moscow’s mad motorists. The large summer terrace is situated in the courtyard. The design is simple and comfortable. There are plaids and gas heaters for that warm feeling. The summer menu offers a variety of cooking: mozzarella and tomato salad, baked potato with shrimp salad or vasterbotten, the famous Scandinavia hamburger. Seats 150.
Noon to midnight, 7 Maly Palashevsky Per., M. Tverskaya, (095) 937 5630
|Shatyor (Summer Terrace of Nostalgie Art Club)
Bohemia in Moscow (both the interior and the clientele). Carved cabinets, heavy ornate trunks, colourful carpets, gossamer veils, chandeliers … Are we in China, or India, or Tibet? There is a VIP area for playing the sheik. The cooking is similarly eclectic, with a mix of European and Oriental styles. The drinks are no less exotic – South American Mate with melissa, Russian sbiten with mint, cloves and lemon for a special summer drink. Hookahs of course. Plaids (Scottish we think) to keep you warm. Music programmes in the evenings.
24 hours,12a Chistoprudny Bulvar, M. Chistiye Prudi, (095) 916 9466/86
The definition of dining al fresco. The summer garden is on the roof with a view of old Moscow. The bright yellow tent that covers the small space makes for a Caribbean-like atmosphere. From the new summer menu we like the grilled shrimp with curried watermelon, the cantaloupe chilled soup with blackberry cinnamon chutney, and the crawfish bisque. The papaya salad goes well with the steaks and grills. Seats 50.
From 11:30 to midnight, 22/1Ul.Sretenka,M.Sukharevskaya, (095) 207 1521
The glass roof slides open when the sun comes out, and back again if a shower threatens. The summer menu is planned for lightness and offers gazpacho soup, home-made spaghetti with seafood and zucchini, fruit minestrone with green jasmine tea, and an assortment of sorbets. The almond milk is a winner for a thirstquenching summer drink. Seats 40.
Noon to last diner, 16 Sadovo- Samotechnaya Ul., M. Tsvetnoi Bulvar, (095) 209 7770
The terrace is built as a ship’s deck (the pale thin curtains imitate sails), and the surrounding fence and overhanging trees make you feel as if the city is far away. The menu is classical with a twist – Caesar salad with tuna, crab salad with smoked catfish fillet. Traditional ice-cold okroshka soup is served in a special way, and kvas is served as a sorbet. Seats 34.
Noon to midnight, 15 Bolshaya Spasskaya Ul., M. Sukharevskaya, (095) 208 0200
An Uzbek restaurant operating only in the summer with a summer terrace designed as a chaikhana, a clay house with wooden tables and benches, decorated with colourful hand-embroided Uzbek covers, cobalt ceramic plates, ancient saddles and musical instruments. The kitchen is open to view, and the cooking is Uzbek, specializing in meat on a charcoal grill such as home-style lagman with veil, and katyk with kefir and cucumbers, radishes and spring onions. The fried khasip sausages are made on site, and the lamb plov is not to be missed. Seats 70.
6 Vorontsovskaya Ul., M. Taganskaya, (095) 911 7704
|Uzbekistan and Beloye Solnce Pustyni |
One terrace serves both restaurants and the centrepiece is a blossoming garden with a creek. A pool with carp, and a pair of peacocks provide eggs for Chinese specialties. The entertainment includes occasional belly dancing and cock fighting. On Thursdays and Fridays a lamb is roasted on a spit. The bread is baked in a tandoor. Live music after 8 p.m. Seats 80.
Noon to last guest, 29 Neglinnaya Ul., M. Teatralnaya, (095) 209 7525
The restaurant is designed by the couturier Igor Chapurin, and is the epitome of Moscow chic (see the May issue of Passport). The summer menu features grilled vegetable salad, zucchini soup and gazpacho; for dessert there is semifreddo with roasted almonds, and a variety of home-made ice-creams and sorbets. We like best the strawberry soup and the champagne sorbet. Seats 60.
Noon to midnight, 9 Novy Arbat, Bldg.1, M. Arbatskaya, (095) 783 6996
This open air location functions only during the summer. There are 5 terraces in chill-out style (sofas and hammocks with pillows). One of the terraces can be set up for a banquet, a children’s party or a private event. Fresh fish from the pond can be chosen and grilled according to your taste. DJ from Friday to Sunday. Seats 200.
Rublevo-Uspenskoye Shosse, Gorki 2, (095) 797 0843
The terrace is built in the style of a Mediterranean villa. You can choose your dinner from a large aquarium with sea water where you can find crabs, langoustines and lobsters which are brought in twice a week from France. Crabs are brought in from Kamchatka. The Lobster Thermidor is to be recommended; also the fried lobster with cepes. Seats 25.
Noon to midnight, 48 Myasnitskaya Ul., M. Krasniye Vorota, (095) 925 4715/9240
|With the Family:
||Graf Orlov |
|For the View:
Claude Monet. The Picnic (Le dejeuner sur l’herbe). 1865-1866.
Oil on canvas. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.