It was a big toursity day and thus, I need to blog it, lest I forget it. Adam is visiting from SF. Once again, so nice to have someone from "home" visiting. Today we went to Pushkin Cafe for lunch. One of the places you "must" go to in Moscow. After today's visit, I disagree with that statement, but it was an experience.
I already knew Pushkin was expensive. In finding the address, I read a few reviews online almost all saying that it was good though expensive and a few mentions of it only being for tourists and business men and they rip you off.
The restaurant is like a big mansion. They have a terraced roof in summer where you can have lunch, this was our goal. However, shortly before we arrived it rained. However, by the time we arrived the rain had ended, so I still requested it. Well, they sent us upstairs where we were seated in the library - not on the roof. The library section operates only with the most expensive dinner menu. After being seated, ordering water, looking at the menu, we requested to go downstairs to the less expensive dining room - same menu, exactly, but cheaper - slightly. From the reviews, I also knew they offered a business lunch, a set 3 course menu for cheaper, however, no business lunch on the menu. Adam and I resign ourselves to spending money and decide what to get; me saurkraut soup and stroganoff and Adam borsch and pelmeni, roughly 1100 rubles EACH. When the waiter comes back with our $12 bottle of water, I happen to ask before we order, "Do you have business lunch?" He walks away and comes back with the business lunch menus. Good thing I kept asking. On business lunch we get what we wanted along with a salad for 750 rubles.
So this has already made me a bit put out and add in the table of Russian and Chinese business men who smoke like chimneys and are well into their first bottle of vodka. However, the salads arrive and along with them wonderful bread. Adam went with the caviar and blini and I got a smoked fish with pickled vegetables. Both were great, in my opinion, Adam however, has decided he finds caviar revolting so we traded. After our waiter dropped two rolls on the ground, he loosened up around us and even began to smile. Soup arrived well timed after the salads and were great. My stroganoff came out cold, but really tasty nonetheless. So, all in all, I'm glad I went, but I never need to go again.
Tonight, we went to see the ballet Sleeping Beauty. I love going to the ballet. This one was in the Novaya Opera House, it was shiny and newer looking. The seats were incredibly uncomfortable, but the ballet was good. It was a mix of classical and modern in costuming and dance. The only thing I don't enjoy about going to the ballet in Moscow are the applause pauses. After any sort of pas de deux or solo there is a very long pause for a minimum of 2 bows. Completely unnecessary and it disrupts the flow, in my opinion. Tonight's show was being filmed for tv, so at the end the curtain call lasted a solid 10 minutes. Every perform had 2 bows and Sleeping Beauty and Her Prince 4! Outrageous. But the dancing was good :)