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Passport Times

Get your host to take you here!

These are Moscow's top business eateries, the places to ask your host to take you (and a stack of 5,000 ruble notes). We passed up Pushkin Cafe, the mandatory first stop for business visitors to Moscow, because you have probably already been there. Most of these restaurants are relatively new to Moscow. All have been awarded Three Hummers by Pass­port's review team. You can find our reviews in the Passport archives at

Commentary: "There is no list of top restaurants that doesn't include Cafe Pushkin. I would also add Cantinetta Antinori, Roberto, Sumosan (for sushi), and Belyie Solntse Pusteniye for good Uzbeki food." Arian Alikhani, President, Lensmaster


Bistrot is a beautifully well-executed replica of a Tuscan villa, as if transplanted from the Italian coast together, with every prop in sight from the table to the walls. Located above the Savinskaya Embankment across the river from the Radisson Hotel, the main entry to Bistrot crosses a large patio dining area covered with huge, rectangular white umbrellas abeled Gancia Pininfarina. This is the prime people-watching place - if you can score a table - and that may take a few days advance reservation. Bistrot's Italian chef, Massimo Ferrari is an imposing figure on the patio of Bistrot, his ample height further enhanced by his towering white chef's hat. Massimo came to Bistrot from Ristorante Al Bersagliere, which has stood as a family restaurant in Goito, Italy since 1840.

Bistrot at Passport Restaurant Guide

Nedalny Vostok

Not Far East is yet another creation of Arkady Novikov, the Sir Terence Conran of Moscow. The main dining area is a huge open hall centered on a large rectangular, stainless and glass kitchen, sous-chefs hard at work on all sides. A comfortable bar lies to the left of the entrance and to the right a dark, quiet chill-out area. The design is classy, with pyramids of lemons and limes stacked around the kitchen, and large half barrels at the entrance, each filled with raw foods -ginger root in one, dried red pepper in another, and whole bay leaf in a third. Grand, bright and aluminum, Not Far East is not quiet but the food and setting is spectacular. If its good enough for a night out for Vladimir Vladimirovich and his wife, its good enough for us. Chef: Australian Glen Ballis.

Nedalny Vostok at Passport Restaurant Guide


GQ Bar is huge and what a location with its long street-side frontage just a few meters south of the entrance to the Baltschug Hotel. GQ is yet another Novikov creation, as we understand in a partnership with GQ magazine. Two large, active open kitchens peer from left and right as you walk directly back from the entrance to the meet, greet, and eat dining room at the rear. The bar area feels wood and warm. William Reichert, attorney at Akin Gump, commented, "Lovely crab, wonderful crab! If you're a crab fan, the meal at GQ Bar was crab heaven!" Despite the implication from the name, GQ is definitely not only for gentlemen judging by the more than ample evidence at the tables around the room. Recommended: Crab, steak, and even some Russian specialties.

GQ Bar at Passport Restaurant Guide


Nabi, billed as Asian Fusion, has a quiet dignity with its leather chairs and simple settings. Kirl Gusev, the devel­oper of Oblomov, FISH, Pavillion restaurants has created a design that allows each table its own space, with no intrusion from neighbors. Nabi's sparse two-page menu has headings that include Salads, Soups, Rolls, Dim Sum, Curry, Wok, Thai Pan, and Hot Dishes. The chefs are Chinese and Russian (Pavel Petukhov and Wang Chuan Bao).

Nabi at Passport Restaurant Guide

Commentary: "Turandot - who needs drugs when you live in Russia?" EricKraus, Managing Director, Anyatta Capital


Turandot is the beautiful, icy princess of the Forbidden City - she lures prince-suitors to their death by posing three riddles. The highlight of the third act of Puccini's opera Turandot is the marvelous aria Nessun Dorma (no one sleeps). Thus the background for what must be one of Moscow's, if not the world's great restaurant experi­ments, the huge investment in Turandot, next to the city's essential Pushkin Cafe. From the inconspicuous en­trance on Tverskoi Bulvar, one enters a huge, white marble Italian courtyard, and then the circular, two-story din­ing area, on each floor surrounded by a series of small private dining rooms. Beneath the elaborately detailed and hand-painted, high cupola ceiling, be-wigged and costumed chamber musicians perform classical music, opening the evening with Nessun Dorma. Belying initial impressions, the cuisine is Chinese and Japanese.

Turandot at Passport Restaurant Guide


Semifreddo would much better describe last winter in Moscow than the warm, comfortable Italian restaurant now called Semifreddo Mulinazzo. The Mulinazzo has been appended in honor of Chef Nino Graziano, after the name of his two Michelin star II Mulinazzo in Villaftati, a village off the highway that connects Palermo to Agrigento. Semifreddo is anything but half-cold, starting from the small grill to the right as you walk in off the street to their wood framed, light and bright terrace. It is here that Nino holds court in the evenings, personally grilling his fa­vorites. The menu at Semifreddo is Italian, but Nino's specialties are Sicilian, with an emphasis on fish. The wine list is exclusively Italian and it must be one of the largest and intelligent selections in Moscow with some of the best wines from every corner of the country. If its good enough for Condi and Ambassador Burns....

Semifreddo at Passport Restaurant Guide

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