Moscow's reputation as a fountain of new wealth is perhaps no better epitomized than in the Skolkovo region to the west of the city. Nestled among luxury residential villages and a 400-hectare self-styled Russian Silicon Valley lies Skolkovo Golf Club, a playground for the rich and the beautiful.
Built in 2014 by one of Russia's best-known billionaires, Roman Abramovich, it's hardly surprising that the club houses an upscale eatery. As members sip crisp white wine in the dining room, cooking up a storm in the kitchen is Ilya Shalev — veteran of the Moscow food revolution.
Shalev, a Le Cordon Bleu alumnus, spent 18 years working abroad at the best restaurants in Paris and London before returning to work at Ragout, an innovative restaurant that brought Muscovites the best of fine-dining at reasonable prices. Here he has an opportunity to create without worrying about cost.
Start with classic salmon tartar or the velvety assortment of pates and terrines served with tart plum and onion chutney. Then move on to scallops cooked so perfectly they melt in your mouth. Colorful dashes of asparagus puree and pea foam frame them like a work of art. Immaculate presentation gives away the kitchen's obsessive attention to detail. A perfectly proportioned pan-fried duck breast sits abed a vibrant heap of stewed apple and cabbage. The dessert menu features classics like creme brulee and the indulgent warm sticky toffee pudding. The extensive bar offers cocktails and wine by the glass from 600 rubles to, well, eye-watering amounts.
The clubhouse itself is breathtaking. Designed by Tokyo-based Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker prize for architecture, the timber structure building sits atop an incline overlooking the golf course. To enter you descend a staircase revealing both the restaurant and a beautiful panoramic view of the grounds. Expansive glass windows allow light to stream in, creating a bright and clean aesthetic that is mirrored in the crisp lines and furnishings of the dining room.
The tremendous view, high beamed ceilings, and refined dishes make this a luxury restaurant, and an elegant one, too. They say money can't buy taste, but here it has certainly helped.
+7 (495) 777 9899
Skolkovskoye Shosse. Bus 523 from Kievskaya or Slavyansky Bulvar