Looking for simple food easy walking distance from the Crowne Plaza when it's -20C outside? Look no further than this interesting establishment. A bit kitsch on the outside and clearly pastiche rustic beams and plaster when you get inside, turn left at the top of the stairs to find yourself in Shinok where the waiting staff are done up in Ukrainian 'peasant' costume - not I suspect that you ever saw a Ukrainian peasant in a miniskirt. But things do get better after that. The local beer (Pivostarokievskoe) is perfectly fine, and great with the food. Really don't bother with the imported beer. The small pies are tasty, but small. At RUB69 each, have a plateful. Potatoe pancakes with sour cream are pretty good. The rabbit stew was quite excellent. The waiting staff served us fast and efficiently. We clapped a well executed folk song from the trio of wandering musicians and got a dazzling smile and best wishes for the evening. It felt rather more genuine than being told to 'Have a nice day', as I have been so often in the US.
Haute cuisine this is not. And I doubt many Ukrainian peasants would recognise much about this place. But actually I rather warmed to it. It offered exactly the sort of filling, tasty, no-nonsense alternative to the business traveller international menu on offer within the WTC. If your idea of a good night out is a pie and a pint, it's definitely worth a visit. Prices like everywhere in Moscow are a bit high if your standard is London or New York, but not extortionate by local standards.
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