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Klyovo: A Fine Catch from Arkady Novikov

Russia’s premier restaurateur brings Black Sea oysters to the capital’s tables

Klyovo's Interior KLYOVO / INSTAGRAM

One of the Moscow dining scene’s best-known addresses has a new resident, and it’s no surprise to learn that Arkady Novikov is the man behind it. Klyovo, which makes a point of sourcing a lot of its seafood from the Black Sea region, is the latest restaurant to open its doors at 27 Petrovka, which was previously home to Novikov’s short-lived Greek venture Semiramis. 

Probably Moscow’s preeminent restaurateur, Novikov launched a number of venues that defined the city’s 2000s scene, such as Vogue Café, Galereya, and Vanil. Later he joined the burger revolution with Farsh, and caught the Russian cheese craze with Syrovarnya. Recently, he opened Novikov Restaurant & Bar in London, which placed him in the ranks of the world’s leading international restaurateurs. 

The name of his latest Moscow venture combines “klyov” — a fishing term meaning a bite — and “klyovo,” a Russian synonym for “cool.” 

Klyovo has inherited the tiled ceilings and red shutters of Semiramis, originally meant to evoke a Mediterranean interior, but has added surfboards in the windows for a hip new touch. 

The restaurant has been open for two weeks and is already packed, so if you don’t want to stand in line, it’s essential to call in advance and reserve a table. This is no accident: Before Semiramis, the venue was occupied by the infamous Galereya, the oligarch-and-model-thronged epicenter of the capital’s high life in the 2000s. You can see some of the same crowd at Klyovo, but there’s no shortage of members of the new generation.

					Klyovo offers diners the chance to try Black Sea oysters and mussels					 					KLYOVO / INSTAGRAM
Klyovo offers diners the chance to try Black Sea oysters and mussels KLYOVO / INSTAGRAM

Klyovo’s head chef is Zakhar Ivanchenko, who previously worked at Galereya with Uilliam Lamberty, as well as for Novikov Catering. 

There’s a wooden oven in the main hall and you can try Russian traditional flatbread (lepyoshka), baked there with various toppings (namazki). A set of flatbreads with meat, fish or vegetable toppings will cost you just 450 rubles ($7.80). 

However, Black Sea oysters are the main attraction here. At Klyovo you can try them for 170 rubles apiece. You can also get them baked with cheese or tomato sauce, setting you back 300 rubles. 

The mussels (550 rubles) and shrimp (500 rubles) are also from the Black Sea region, whereas the crabs (from 700 rubles) are flown over from Russia’s Far East crab mecca of Kamchatka. From the main courses, order the Black Sea turbot (or kalkan) baked with herbs and baby potatoes (1,000 rubles), or try the crabmeat burgers with bisque sauce (850 rubles). 

Denis Konenkov, the man behind the bar, has solid credentials: He previously worked at cutting-edge Moscow restaurants Saxon + Parole and Sixty. For Klyovo, he has come up with a range of inventive auteur cocktails (starting from 380 rubles) as well as vodka infusions. 

The oysters wash down well with sparkling wine (from 370 rubles), and the home-made vermouth (200 rubles) is also worth a try.

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