Pâté & Co: Paris in the Shade of the Krem­lin

A new brasserie south of the river is bring­ing rus­tic French cui­sine to Rus­sia

The Moscow Times - - OUT & ABOUT - By Bradley Jar­dine art­sre­porter@ime­dia.ru

When you google Pâté & Co. cafe, the first thing you note is the lo­ca­tion. Sit­u­ated right across the street from the op­u­lent Baltschug Kempin­ski ho­tel, with the Krem­lin and St. Basil’s Cathe­dral loom­ing beau­ti­fully in the hori­zon, one might think that this place is mainly tai­lored to high-pro­file guests of the ho­tel. So it was a pleas­ant sur­prise to dis­cover that the in­te­rior of the cafe pro­vides for a more re­lax­ing and jovial at­mos­phere.

French cui­sine un­der­went a re­birth in Moscow from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, with the ar­rival of chefs such as David Desseaux, Pa­trice Terey­geol and Jerome Coustil­las. Leg­end even has it that chefs brought foie gras and truf­fles to Rus­sia in suit­cases.

Restau­ra­teur Dmitry Zo­tov (known for Haggis Pub & Kitchen and Zot­man Pizza Pie) is now chal­leng­ing these clichés by of­fer­ing a more stripped-back ap­proach to French cui­sine.

Pâté & Co. cafe of­fers a taste­ful in­te­rior, with a chic take on French de­sign. Down­stairs is adorned with black and white tiles and an open kitchen, with green plush seat­ing by the win­dows. The up­stairs in­te­rior is some­what puz­zling – wall­pa­per with tropical or­na­men­ta­tion and hang­ing wooden lamps with plas­tic plants.

The staff were both po­lite and help­ful, some­times ex­ces­sively so. When ex­plain­ing that their sig­na­ture dish, the chicken liver pate with red or­ange, was un­avail­able, they went on to de­scribe how fan­tas­tic the dish is and how un­for­tu­nate it was that it wouldn’t be pos­si­ble to ex­pe­ri­ence it this evening. In tra­di­tional Rus­sian fa­tal­is­tic gloom, true hap­pi­ness is al­ways out of reach.

As the name sug­gests, the lo­cal spe­cialty is pâté and ter­rine—es­sen­tially sim­i­lar to pâté, but made with more coarsely chopped in­gre­di­ents. Five va­ri­eties are of­fered, at 460 rubles ($8) each: chicken liver with red or­ange, salmon and smoked sock­eye, wild duck ter­rine, ar­ti­chokes with truf­fle oil and sausage and ham pâté. These are served with just two slices of bread. This was dis­ap­point­ing—af­ter all, in Rus­sia it’s never pâté with bread, but bread with pâté.

Apart from the sig­na­ture dish, there’s con­so­la­tion to be found in the soup menu. The onion soup (360 rubles) was rich enough, but the ac­com­pa­ny­ing toasted baguette with faux camem­bert was sadly burned to a crisp. The Mar­seille fish soup (460 rubles) with seafood and capers were some­how rem­i­nis­cent of fish solyanka a la Russe.

To some be­fud­dle­ment, I was in­formed that, de­spite the mar­ket­ing, the restau­rant had no wine menu. This left a se­lec­tion of al­co­holic and non-al­co­holic beer to choose from.

The main cour­ses rep­re­sent both French and Bel­gian culi­nary tra­di­tions. Try the duck breast with dates and top­inam­bour (890 rubles), mus­sels in white wine and cream (860 rubles) or beef fil­let with potato gratin and ro­maine let­tuce (1,190 rubles). Ac­cord­ing to staff, the mus­sels and all other seafood are de­liv­ered ev­ery­day on ice. The beef fil­let was ten­der, but the gratin turned out to be way more pleas­ing.

The se­lec­tion of desserts wasn’t ex­actly French – honey cake, panna cotta with red or­ange, pas­sion fruit tart, Napoleon cake and a se­lec­tion of eclairs (290 rubles each).

Ul­ti­mately, de­spite its lux­u­ri­ous lo­ca­tion, Pâté & Co. of­fers quite an av­er­age ex­pe­ri­ence. Un­doubt­edly, its pleas­ant and well-de­signed in­te­rior make it a nice place to eat and re­lax in a prime tourist lo­ca­tion – but would you go back for sec­onds? See it for your­self. +7 (495) 252-07-06 www.pate­cafe.ru 3/2 Ul­itsa Balchug Metro No­vokuznet­skaya

Pate & Co. serves snacks and soups in a re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment..

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Russia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.