Moscow, Russia – Located in the heart of Moscow and famously named after a man many consider Russia’s greatest poet, the Cafe Pushkin is every Eastern European’s fantasy of what a Russian aristocratic’s home and life was like in the 1800’s. Considered to be the founder of modern Russian literature during the Romance era, Alexander Pushkin is a name with proud connotations among the Slavic people. I, myself, enjoy his poems so it was no surprise that the Cafe Pushkin was on my bucket list during my trip to Moscow.
As previously mentioned, the main idea and inspiration of the restaurant and menu revolves around the presentation of Russian and French dishes that existed during Pushkin’s time. The waiters serve the guests as ‘Lords’ and ‘Ladies’, and I found them to be very respectful and friendly. Of course, it’s not every day someone refers to you as a ‘Lady’ so perhaps I am biased.
The interior of the restaurant really stole away my breath. In the past, the building used to be a pharmacy, which is reflected in the bar area called the ‘Pharmacy Hall’. The pharmacy counter was rebuilt into a bar area although when I was there during brunch it was relatively empty. The ‘Pharmacy Hall’ also includes a glass enclosed patio, which is also where my party and I were seated. An interesting thing about the Cafe Pushkin is that based on your seating area you get a slightly different menu. Therefore, my party and I were given the ‘Pharmacy Hall’ menu. This is what my table ordered.
Kvass (a traditional fermented drink made from rye bread)
Latte (complimentary Chocolate included)
House Made Mini Pies (Veal, Pickles, Potato & Mushroom flavors)
Selection of Russian Dishes (various small portions of dishes such as Pelmeni, Beef Stroganoff, Mini Pie etc)
Foie-gras Pate’ with Apple and Cranberry Jelly. Includes a Green Salad with Raspberry dressing
Trout stuffed with Fish Sauce Mousse and baked in Crayfish Sauce
Beef a – la Rossini
Fortunately, because I was traveling with friends, I was able to sample every ordered dish. I enjoy Russian/Ukrainian style cooking so I found the food to be familiar and to my taste. If this restaurant had another location in the USA, I would absolutely bring friends to visit and try Russian style cooking. From the menu, I chose the Selection of Russian Dishes because it would give me the opportunity to try different dishes at once.
After I was finished eating, I asked the staff for permission to roam around the restaurant and take some photos. My goal was to go upstairs to the ‘Library and Mezzanine Hall’ and take a look of the interior. Fortunately, the staff was nice enough to grant my request. A piece of advice to anyone planning a visit- if you are interested in being seated in the ‘Library’ section, please reserve in advance or specifically ask to be seated there. I wasn’t aware that you had to request for this so I missed out on that opportunity. On my next visit I will take the necessary steps to ensure I experience a meal in this beautiful hall.
Decorated in Baroque-style design and full of antiques, the ‘Library Hall’ is by far my favorite part of the CafePushkin. The shelves though-out this hall are full or Russian Literature such as Tolstoy, Chekhov and Dostoevsky. English, French and German Literature authors such as Shakespeare, Dante and Goethe can also be found in various sections. While I was admiring this area, it felt like I was living in a Jane Austen novel, waiting for someone to invite me for some tea.
After I finished taking my photos, I started walking back down the stairs toward the exit. Suddenly, after noticing me, one of the male waiters dropped whatever he was doing, quickly ran towards me, extended his hand and said “My Lady, allow me to help you down the stairs”. I reached toward his hand and he guided me down the stairs. Not going to lie, I can get used to this!