Address: 5 Potapovsky Pereulok, bldg. 2
Nearest metro station: Chistiye Prudy
Menu in Russian
Cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard and Maestro
Phones: +7 (495) 6242720
Tema Bar is the first show bar in Moscow, which means making cocktails while entertaining the public: think fiery sparks flying into the air, flair bartending and other tricks. The hottest time to go to Tema Bar is at the weekend to the best cocktail parties in Moscow, built on the formula ‘Cocktail Party = Cocktail + Dancing.’ Dancing goes on not only (or not even!) on the dance floor, but on the massive bar.
The only decoration in the simple interior – obviously so that things are less likely to get broken during outbursts of emotion – is an exhibition of ties hanging behind the bar. By tradition, at Tema you can exchange your tie for a cocktail. In the five years of the bar’s existence it has assembled an impressive and motley collection, from the simple skinny tie to elaborate handmade Italian efforts. A fun atmosphere is created by the very varied clientele, from students to young PR-workers, to successful businessmen, 24-hour party people, and other assorted thrill-seekers.
Tema mixes the cheapest Mojitos and Manhattans in town, and the quality is very decent. ‘Genre Classics,’ borrowed from the world’s top bars, are collected in a separate chapter on the menu, from the feminine Bellini to the purely masculine White Russian with an intense dose of vodka. Fans of trying new mixes will appreciate Dmitry Sokolov’s ideology: There are more than 100 signature entries. The cocktail-flambe “Fire and Ice” is a favorite house trick, which other establishments rarely try to emulate. Cocktails in this category are set on fire right on the bar, making a fire show for the audience. Alcohol-flamed berries and fruits are at the heart of these concoctions, for example, the New Sherry Martini with brandy, Drambuie, cherry, powdered sugar and lemon juice. The page of creative shots deserves a separate mention, as does the complete opposite of a shot – the “convivial” cocktail served in a 500-ml shaker, which costs just 350 rubles.
The 24-hour party leaves the path to salvation open in the form of “anti-hangover” recipes, like the Bullshot, which is a shot of vodka with a fragrant beef broth. Seasonal special offers are a unique chance to get cocktails to take away, and the bar’s regular innovations (like shot sets or “dessert” cocktails) make Tema bar the most creative place on the Moscow map.
Those who are still interested in food can’t go wrong with the large-scale club sandwich or pancakes with quail eggs and red caviar. The snacks have a Latino flavor as a rule: nachos, burritos and fajitas with red-hot sauces.