In place of the Beefbar Junior restaurant in the Hotel Ukraina, Restaurant Syndicate has opened a new Russian restaurant called B.I.G.G.I.E. Here Chef Ilya Blagoveshchensky — whose nickname is apparently Biggie — presents a vision of contemporary Russian cuisine that is much more daring than he showed diners in his native Rostov-on-Don. The raw materials are Russian, and the chef loves and knows how to work with them. He gets his beef and duck from his native Rostov region along with mullet and perch; halibut and salmon come from Murmansk, pike perch comes from the Black Sea; and succulent chicken, seasonal root vegetables, fragrant Antonovka apples and farm-fresh cream are sourced outside Moscow.
Blagoveshchensky uses these fresh local products with his chef's arsenal of modern technology to transform regional and traditional dishes into something delicate and light, with flavors both familiar and striking. This is his special version of the new Russian cuisine, which combines the natural taste of foods, unusual cooking techniques and the aesthetics of presentation.
And it must be said that the presentation is spectacular. Most of the dishes served so dramatically that you begin to suspect that Blagoveshchensky didn't just attend culinary school but has a degree in art as well. For example, barley is served in a round of celeriac on a bed of hay. The hay is set alight, which proves a bit messy while leaving a light smoky fragrance.
Must-try: terrine of duck with apple and crispy rolls; sea conch with wild mushrooms and cauliflower prepared three ways; pate of beef with sea buckthorn glaze, duck heart pate with a black current glaze, and liver pate served in a sauce of creamy tonka beans. Another taste sensation is a dish of apples pickled under high pressure, with the marinade then sweetened with sugar syrup and flavored with chili, ginger, cinnamon and anise. This unique way of preparation leaves the apples with a crispy texture and spicy pickled flavor.
The only shortcoming of this innovative restaurant is the exceedingly high cost of a meal. But everyone deserves to splurge occasionally and experience exquisite Russian cuisine. Nothing else like it exists in Moscow.
+7 (495) 229 8337
2/1 Kutuzovsky Prospekt. Metro Kievskaya