To our great regret, Michelin experts have yet to rate a single restaurant in Russia. Nevertheless, we can taste dishes by chefs who were awarded with Michelin stars – the highest and most prestigious award in the culinary world – here, in Moscow.
Saxon + Parole
This is an accurate adaptation of the American restaurant with ribollita, osso buco and an amazing Manhattan. Global Point, which is based in St. Petersburg, tried to follow the New York original so meticulously that the snacks section of the menu is titled with a literal translation of “The First Course” and the hot dishes are “The Second Course.”
As a result, they both read like the first and the second university years in Russian instead of dishes.
Brad Farmerie is the chef here. In 2003, he headed the kitchen of the restaurant US AvroKO-PUBLIC, which received a Michelin star six years later.
This is a spacious two-storey restaurant on Malaya Bronnaya. Its ground floor has a café serving coffee, pastries and sandwiches. A restaurant with a wine bar is upstairs.
Five Italian chefs, who supervise everything from the pasta, coffee and bread to each other, manage the kitchen. It’s not cheap here: pasta with duck and smoked eel will cost you 850 roubles ($14.40); carbonara with caviar will set you back 1,600 roubles ($27.12) and although it is not very delicious, it surely is “absolutely fabulous” anyway.
The brand-chef and sommelier Ivan Pizzoni opened Il Milione in Hong Kong, which received a Michelin star in 2013.
Cristal Room Baccarat
The Cristal Room Baccarat is located on the first floor of the Moscow Maison Baccarat, which was designed by the legendary Philippe Starck. The ground floor of the Maison Baccarat hosts a boutique featuring interior items, jewellery and accessories.
Local chef Michel Lentz is famous in France and has worked in several restaurants honoured with Michelin stars. He has won numerous international awards and written two culinary bestsellers: "A Sublime Balance" and "The Cuisine of Well-Being: 100 Easy and Delicious Recipes."
This restaurant is located inside the Krasnaya Roza business centre in the courtyard next to the Kalashnikov Concern. It has an open kitchen so you can sit on a high stool at the counter and watch the chef at work.
Moreover, Nino Graziano, the head chef, is from Sicily, where he also worked in Semifreddo and earned it two Michelin stars. He later closed it for the sake of moving to Moscow. In late April or early May, Graziano promises to make a new menu. In the meantime, enjoy red shrimp carpaccio, ravioli filled with wild seabass, a salad with veal head aspic cooked according to a Graziano family recipe and other Sicilian classics.
Adri BBQ, AQ Kitchen, AQ Chicken
Adrian Quetglas is the owner and brand chef for three Moscow restaurants. In November last year, he received a star for his restaurant Adrian Quetglas in Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands. Who knows, maybe one of his three kids in Russia will also get a star one day?
Adri is the chef’s childhood nickname. However, the menu says even more than the title about the presence of Quetglas here: roast beef with sweet potato hummus, Kamchatka herring carpaccio with banana grill aioli, grilled octopus with black garlic chips and tomato snow, chocolate ganache with fleur de sel and a goat’s milk veil, or, for example, baked beef ribbon under a Mississippi sauce, a dish typical of Quetglas’ style.
The kitchen is open and the food is simple, understandable and cheap. Major hits include poultry pate in the form of a yellow duckling served with stewed apples; balsamic jelly with toasted brioche; beef tartare; Fattoush salad with a reasonable ratio of lamb and toasted lavash; and Kamchatka smelt French fries with tartar sauce. Desserts are good without exception, but the Cuba Libra is the best, featuring Crema catalana with Coke jelly, lime ice cream and mint sponge cake. Reserve a table
The main appetiser on AQ Chicken’s menu has arrived from AQ Kitchen: the famous chicken liver AQ-pate, presented in the form of an egg whose shell is made of coconut milk and lemon juice, making it a kind of pan-Asian dish. The pate is garnished with figs that look fresh but have been marinated in a nut sauce until pickled.
Vlada Lesnichenko, a long-time companion of Quetglas, prepared the wine menu. In addition to the usual red, white and sparkling wines, the menu also has green wine from Portugal and an orange Pinot Grigio from Friuli. Its distinctive features are a very large selection of glasses and the opportunity to take not even a glass but a so-called lafitnik to be able to try more.