Monday, February 25, 2013

Cafe Pushkin and Coffee Mania

Moscow's Cafe Pushkin (Кафе Пушкинь) serves upmarket Russian and French cuisine. It is situated in a 19th century building. I have read about this restaurant in a novel lately (Jonas Jonasson: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared). High end restaurants in the West are gourmet temples - lots of space and a very quite atmosphere. Not so at Cafe Pushkin: the tables are set very closely, the noise is immense, even with booking you need to wait. If you look closely at picture of the bar, you will see that it is an old pharmacy, which is in itself a hint at the price level. In Russia people tend to overspent. Women are exquisitely dressed and display jewelry like Christmas trees.

We had a table at another room, less noisy, but also less interesting. The more Michelin stars a restaurant gets, the more it restricts the number of customers. Not so at Cafe Pushkin. The restaurant rather bought access to more room and entertains more customers. As vegetarian I hardly found anything to eat. Even on the salat was a basket made out ouf a cucumber filled with tiny fish. OK, I've put the cucumber fish ensemble aside, but the fish should have been mentioned in the menu.

All in all I recommend to rather looking at Cafe Pushkin from the outside than venture inside.

Coffee Mania (Кофемания) also is overprized, but more interesting to drink, have a snack, and look at people. It is also frequented by lots of young women, mostly in pairs, who eat a little, drink a cappuccino, and do lots of talking. That has been an interesting observation. In all the coffee shops you could see more pairs and groups of women than mixed pairs or men. I must admit that I do not frequent coffee shops that often outside my travels, where a break in between sightseeing and the necessety of a rest room (oh that's another story still to be told) are directing you to enter a coffee shop.

Related links for this travel:

The Monastery of Sergiev Posad

Black Sea and Arkadia Beach  

The Wooden Church of Izhma  

On Renting a Car in Arkhangelsk  

Outskirts of Kiev  

Statues of old Old Comrades or Leaders

New Logic or No Interest in Business  

The Burnt Muffin  

Love locks from the Black to the White Sea

Antoniyevo-Siysky Monastery (Антониево-Сийский монастырь)  

On changing Moldovan Lei in Odessa

The Very Basic Guide to Russian  

Crime and Punishment (St. Petersburg)  

Hram Ilias – the hidden silence near the Red Place in Moscow  

Kishinev – the prologue of this year’s travels (2012)  

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