Hello everyone! In this post I would like to talk about some of the best restaurants in Moscow that you should visit in summer 2016. The best means that these restaurants are in high demand, their summer verandahs are packed, the ladies sitting at the tables are hot and the cars parked at the entrance are high class! Welcome to Moscow during one of the steepest economic downturns of the past decade.
Best Restaurants in Moscow Countdown: Erwin
Last Sunday I wanted to make a reservation at the Erwin Restaurant for the upcoming Friday evening. That’s a relatively new seafood dining place that occupies 2 floors of the building located at the bank of the Moscow River. That’s just steps away from the Radisson Royal Hotel on Kutuzovsky Ave, 2/1, building 6. Erwin has 230 seats inside plus a large outside verandah making it possible to seat almost 400 guests. Now that’s a pretty big restaurant!
So, guess what, I couldn’t get a table for 3 people one week in advance. It was fully booked. No matter how bad the economic conditions are, people want to spend their Friday evenings drinking wine at nice places. 2 Weeks later I have finally managed to get there. What I can tell you is that there are 3 reasons why this place has become so popular:
- Erwin is one of the few seafood restaurants in Moscow that offers really great value for money. There are dishes that can fit any budget. You can order a portion of local whitefish fillet for 580 Rubles or you can go with the King Crab from Murmansk that costs 9000 a piece. I can tell you that it’s a pretty big crab weighting almost 3 kilos (about 6 pounds) ! Same thing with the drinks. You can order a bottle of some Spanish red wine for 3600 Rubles or 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova for 15600 Rubles.
- The restaurant is located at the bank of the Moscow River with available parking space along embankment from both sides of the driveway. In addition to that there is a large parking space right in front of the Radisson Hotel. This means that the owners of the numerous Porsches, Ferraris and Bentleys can park their toys right in front of the restaurant’s entrance! That is something that is almost impossible to do at other downtown locations.
- This Moscow River embankment area has turned into a restaurant cluster with a number of other nice restaurants located just steps away. In addition to that there is Badaev factory area located 5 minute walk away where they have the famous Krysha Mira night club and several other restaurants & bars.
Erwin restaurant has a very productive strategy that is targeted at serving a great number of guests with good quality dishes at reasonable prices in an upscale setting. It seems to be working great so far!
Valenok Restaurant in Moscow
Valenok is another place that definitely deserves to be placed on my best restaurants in Moscow list for summer 2016. It is owned and operated by Alexander Novikov one of the pioneers of the Moscow restaurant scene. Located on Tsvetnoy Blvd, 5 it features a large sitting area with an open kitchen. Outside there is a large summer verandah. The cuisine is mixed and focused around the local ingredients. This allows to keep the menu prices at a reasonable level. What’s remarkable about Valenok is that on weekend evenings it turns into a night club packed with lots of beautiful Russian women. The music inside sucks but the girls look really nice:)
Motel Night Club
One of the new Moscow night clubs called Motel is located next door to Valenok on Tsvetnoy Blvd, 5. Motel has been opened a couple months ago by the same team that has brought to us the famous Rolling Stone Bar and Gipsy night club. The place takes three floors of the 19th century mansion. Inside it was designed like a motel with a reception desk and beds standing in some of the rooms. The design really sucks, but the music is good and the local crowd looks pretty upscale so far. Couple weeks ago Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, one of LA’s it-girls Caroline Vreeland and several other local celebrities were some of the guests I spotted inside. The place is pretty hot right now so prepare for the stricter face control at the entrance.
Another place that combines a restaurant and a club that I wanted to mention is called Koba Bar. That’s a relatively new venue located on Rochdelskaya ul., 15с1. The street is adjacent to one of the Moscow’s nightlife clusters that includes places like Duran Bar and Jagger. Koba is owned by the same people who own Keanu Bar on Patriarch Ponds. During the day it’s a restaurant serving all kinds of Asian street food that includes noodles, wok and dim sums. At night it turns into a night club. They invite different DJs every weekend. Even though the place wasn’t packed during my last visit, it has a good potential to become one of the best places to eat and dance in Moscow. So I guess it’s worth checking it out.
By the way if you are concerned by the firefight that took place at Koba a couple months ago, then don’t worry. All of the mafia people involved in the story have been arrested and are awaiting their trial for racketeering. As it was reported by the local media, a group of armed men arrived to the bar during one of the nights to discuss some financial disputes with it’s owner Zhanna Kim.
The discussion has grown into a conflict that followed by the arrival of Zhanna’s support team headed by the former KGB officer. The conflict has grown into a firefight that has resulted in the death of 2 people from the mafia’s side. So right now the place looks very calm with no sign of mafia people around.
See you on the dance floor!