Devine Harmony, Wine & Crab, Moscow Review
Name and fit-out both led the Foodie Mookie crew to wonder at the wisdom of their choice to dine at Wine & Crab. The restaurant front did little to inspire but the lure of the catch cry “Moscow’s best cellar” urged the crew to look past the name and veneer to proceed down an ancient stairwell into what was to become an amazing adventure into superb old world wines and a menu paying homage to the delectable crustacean so simply stated in the the restaurant name – the Crab.
The Berezutsky brothers (Sergei and Ivan) are the genius pair behind the genius pairing of wine and crab. Both are awarded chef in the local restaurant scene. Sommelier Sergei Antonov has stocked a cellar to fill any old world wine enthusiast with awe. Bottles range from modest bottles ( 2016 Coppiere Pinot Grigio and 2015 Villa Pillo Cingalino, Rosso di Toscana) at 2250 rubles through to 950000 rubles for a 2013 Romanee-Conti, Domaine de la Romanee Conti. This collection includes an entire wall of White Burgundy, Pookies particular favourite which can be seen in the photo gallery. Needless to say, some very nice bottles of this old world Chardonnary were purhased to pair with a subset of the crab selection available, 9 varieties in total.
Having selected an Etienne Sauzet, 2014 Puligny Montrachet ‘Les Combettes’, the crew order crabby entries, Parcel from Russian Far East (King crab, Snow crab, Helmet crab), Salt-baked horsehair crab with venere rice and Crab bonbons (King crab, mango and caviar; Hanasaki crab and passion fruit; Snow crab, guacamole and almonds). The service is difficult as the Crew do not speak Russian and the staff do not speak english well, but eventually the sommelier returns with the bottle of wine and helps with the ordering. The dishes arrive out of order so the Crew eats what is presented and make allowance for the language barrier. The wine, unexpected in Russia, is devine and matches perfectly with the sweet but salty crustacean flavours.
Post devouring crab and wine and feeling merry, the crews eyes moved to the crabs in the aquarium in the centre of the dining area, Kamchatka King Crab. “Can’t come all the way to Russia and not try their famous Kamchatka Crab” – besides it was starting to snow when we arrived so what better excuse than an imagined snow storm above our heads to convince a diner to stay for an extra serving of wine and crab. The owners might be on to something here! So the Crew order 600 grams of the Kamchatka and a bottle of Domaine Francois Raveneau, 2016 Chablis Premier Cru Montee de Tonnerre. Bliss, harmony and all good things.
Having eaten our fill of crab and warmed ourselves on White Burgundy we adventured outside to find that there truly was snow falling thick and fast. Lucky we were well fortified against the cold, thank-you Monsieur’s Sauzet et Raveneau and the brothers Berezutsky! Wine & Crab restaurant is certainly worth a visit. Take a good supply of rubles and forgive that not all Russians can speak English. Why should they have to in the heart of Mother Russia!?