In St. Petersburg - to eat. Where to find edible gold and a bouquet made from pate
05 March 2021
It seems that the line of Sergei Shnurov's song "In St. Petersburg - to drink", which has become an aphorism from his light hand, will soon have to be remade into "In St. Petersburg - to eat." The city on the Neva is confidently winning the title of the gastronomic capital of the world.
Olga Shablinskaya, "Arguments and Facts"
Today you will not surprise anyone with good catering places - in any large city in the world you will find a wide variety of food. Of course, in the Northern capital there are restaurants for every taste. But besides this, a lot of surprises await the gourmet here. It is in St. Petersburg, with its free and innovative spirit, that you can taste special dishes that are not served anywhere else.
Moreover, St. Petersburg took an unconventional path. In addition to gourmet food, serving dishes here has been turned into a kind of show, in which you become a participant.
"AaF" has prepared 5 places that are undoubtedly worth visiting in the Northern capital, if you want to cheer yourself up and understand that food is not only food, but also happiness, and truly visit the gastronomic seventh heaven.
Speaking about the revolutionary spirit of gastronomic Petersburg, the first thing to say about the “SVCh”. This is a professional school for those looking to build a career in the restaurant business or learn how to cook for themselves. It turns out that the abbreviation “SVCh” does not stand for "microwave oven" at all. “SVCh”- means “bastards”. - Explains the brand-chef of the “SVCh” Anton Isakov. - These are, so to speak, “dissenting”, those who are not ready to play by someone invented rules in gastronomy, but want to come up with their own”.
Legends have gathered under the roof of this institution - Roman Redman, Konstantin Ivlev, Dmitry Bogachev, Arslan Berdiev, Marina Naumova, Artem Grebenshchikov, Dmitry Blinov. The most interesting master classes are held in the "SVCh", information about which you will find on the school website. You can also get on the "exam" for trained cooks and taste their "diploma theses".
Mindal Cafe (“Almond Cafe”)
All fans of Georgian cuisine - here. However, when you come to this restaurant, you will taste your favorite dish in a new way: traditional Georgian recipes are ingeniously played by Marusya - brand chef Marina Naumova. Who would have thought that the usual vegetable ajapsandal can be cooked in such a way that, as my mother says, "you will eat your mind"? Marusya makes it from five types of bell peppers, and leaves the vegetables aldente and adds some extraordinary aromatic herbs there. Also, be sure to try the most delicate, hand-made khinkali by Marusya (each one has 18 layers, count!). Out of competition - khachapuri and branded strong liqueurs, I especially liked the tincture made with persimmon. Well, and for dessert - mango sorbet, the preparation of which Marusya turns into a show before your very eyes.
By the way, the chef of the Almond Cafe Marina Naumova with two braids, in a small funny chef's hat on one side, with earrings in the form of silver frying pans and funny glasses, has become an attraction of her establishment no less than her magical food. What is nice - Marusya always comes out to communicate with the guests in person.
If you think you know what haute cuisine is, then you have never been to the Eclipse restaurant. It is located in Repin near Saint Petersburg. Food serving truly turns into a real performance here! For example, I shall never forget how when my gallant waiter was changing dishes, he moved a winter bouquet standing on the table closer to me. As I thought at first, the bouquet was there for beauty. But no! It turned out that it was the next dish. And the berries on the twigs were made of extremely delicate pate.
The Eclipse restaurant also makes you think the «Never say never» rule is true. Until now I have never photographed food, considering it beneath my dignity. But how can you abstain from photographing gold before eating it? I am speaking about the dish called «Muksun with exploded scales and bean cream with spruce shoots and scallop mousse with edible gold leaves».
Of course, I also photographed the wheat biscuit with snail pate, snail caviar and feijoa sorbet with crab meat on a nettle pillow with chartreuse liqueur. But most importantly, I understood what it means when food makes you high.
No doubt this is the most atmospheric restaurant created by the chef Sergey Fokin and his professional team of waiters, who are full-fledged characters of this luxurious gourmet performance!
The restaurant has retained its original location on Nevsky Prospect since its foundation in 1785. If you want to understand what the imperial cuisine is, no doubt this is the place for you to visit. Sterlet baked in white wine with white mushrooms, capers and gherkins under crayfish sauce really gives royal sensations to your taste buds. Well, if you want to forget about the hustle and bustle of modern life, be sure to try the blancmange melting in your mouth. Now I know this is my favourite dessert by the way.
It's such a pleasure that when leaving the restaurant, women are presented with handmade sweets. They are unreal. Also royal.
If you are lucky enough to get into this restaurant (you need to book a table long in advance), then order their branded set of snacks. This will give you the opportunity to try all the masterpieces by the young, but already famous chef Arslan Berdiev. My personal favorites are the gorgeous tuna and delicious lemon ice cream, which will make you forget all other kinds of ice cream. When leaving, do not forget to book a table again: the nearest opportunity will be no earlier than a couple of months. The place is incredibly popular both among residents of Saint Petersburg and among tourists who are haute cuisine lovers.
By the way, Saint Petersburg is currently working on the unusual and interesting project called «New Tourist Geography of Saint Petersburg», which is aimed to tell about modern locations of the Northern capital. The city will define 18 thematic zones: a health and medical cluster, locations for cultural and event tourism, zones for creative leisure, shopping and youth spaces and so on. Among them, there will be a place for gastronomic tourism, which will bring together the best gastronomic places of the Northern capital. It will become easier to plan your trip with the «New Tourist Geography of Saint Petersburg»!
The material is based on a series of 5 informational press tours that took place in Saint Petersburg from November 28 to December 7, 2020. It was attended by 50 journalists and bloggers from different regions of Russia.