Russia travel news: editor's picks

St Petersburg based celebrity chef Aram Mnatsakanov has launched his first Moscow eatery
(Image credit: TBC)

Probka, Moscow

St Petersburg-based celebrity chef Aram Mnatsakanov has launched his first Moscow eatery. Designed by prominent local interiors specialist Albina Nazimova, the restaurant concept is a high-end trattoria, which centres around a state-of-the-art kitchen, adorned with a homely display of assorted copper utensils. Overseen by chef Valter Bizoffi, who has been relocated from one of the group's St Petersburg restaurants, Il Grappolo, the menu is a fresh assortment of traditional and modern Italian fare, ranging from dorado carpaccio with courgettes and burrata cheese to pizza with Parma ham, black truffle and spicey Salami.

Tsvetnoi Boulevard 2, Moscow; tel: 7.495 995 9045

Writer: Anna Jackson-Stevens

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Russia travel news: editor’s picks

(Image credit: TBC)

Designed by prominent local interiors specialist Albina Nazimova, the restaurant concept is a high-end trattoria, which centres around a state-of-the-art kitchen, adorned with a homely display of assorted copper utensils

(Image credit: TBC)

Bar-Studio Kluchi, Moscow

Arranged over two conjoined buildings in the centre of the city, the properties that house this exclusive private members' club were originally built in the 18th century, although most of it burnt down in a fire in 1812. A restoration project at the end of the 19th century saw the reconstruction of the wooden areas. Fast-forward to 2011 and the establishment landed in the capable hands of Moscow-based architects Peter Kostelov, Alexey Rozenberg and Anton Grechko. Together, the trio have overcome a number of planning restrictions to create a multi-themed party space around the building's original assets, embodying its eclectic architectural styles. Set over two storeys, Bar-Studio Kluchi is arranged as a series of three contrasting bars - two sensational main areas and a cosy chill-out room, complete with a library of books, resembling a Harry Potter fantasy world. The place is regularly packed with the Moscow elite, and you will have to buy an invitation to join them.

www.kostelov.ru (opens in new tab)

Writer: Lauren Ho

Bar Studio Kluchi, Moscow

(Image credit: TBC)

A room with bookshelves

(Image credit: TBC)

Tao, St Petersburg

A former taxi rank has been turned into a culinary strip appealing to St Petersburg gourmands, and the latest opening is Pan-Asian restaurant Tao. There is no sign on the door, and it gives little hint as to what's behind. But inside the décor, by local designer Savieli Arkhipenko, is unusually impressive. There's a bar, two dining rooms and a shisha lounge planned; and no windows, only the original parking bays holding intricate eastern wooden carvings. A slightly grotesque lion dominates, but chef Kent Lee, formerly of London's Hakkasan, steals the show, along with mixologist Alexander Pugachev who creates exotic cocktails to compliment the food.

2 Konushenny Ploschad; tel: 7.812 244 6818

Writer: Anna Jackson-Stevens

Tao, St Petersburg

(Image credit: TBC)

A former taxi rank has been turned into a culinary strip appealing to St Petersburg gourmands, and the latest opening is Pan-Asian restaurant Tao

(Image credit: TBC)

Russia travel news: editor’s picks

(Image credit: TBC)

A former taxi rank has been turned into a culinary strip appealing to St Petersburg gourmands, and the latest opening is Pan Asian restaurant Tao

(Image credit: TBC)

Barry Bar, Moscow

The latest project from Global Point, the St Petersburg-based group that brought us Moscow's Schastie restaurant, is a watering hole whose chief aim is to create the ultimate cocktails. Manager Andrei Dolotkazi - a former student of celebrated mixologist Alexander Kan - even has a 'samagon' (moonshine) apparatus on the bar, with which he distils alcohol to create infusions. The kitchen, which serves breakfast until 6pm on the weekends, is run by chef Maxim Kalmikov and provides a mixture of European and Russian fare, from cheeseburgers to borsch, and includes a range of favourites from the group's St Petersburg-based '22.13' restaurant. Who is Barry? The local nickname for a 'lover' has been given new meaning by the bar staff, who use it to describe the characters that frequent the bar, from the business-like 'Briefcase Barry' to the ruddy 'Red-nose Barry'.

Kuznetsky Most 1; tel: 7.495 276 0736; www.barrybar.com (opens in new tab)

Writer: Anna Jackson-Stevens

Barry Bar, Moscow

(Image credit: TBC)

The latest project from Global Point, the St Petersburg-based group that brought us Moscow's Schastie restaurant

(Image credit: TBC)

Ostrovok Terrace, Moscow

Sandro Sherents and Oleg Shtofman of local architecture firm, Shar Project, have created a new home for Ostrovok restaurant, which has been in the same place, under the same family ownership, since Soviet times. Sited by a tree-fringed lake in the recently rejuvenated Gorky Park, the angular structure is fashioned from raw wooden beams and is topped with a metallic roof. The building's large windows ensure a light-filled interior and when lit up at night, the space looks particularly inviting. Food is prepared in front of diners on an open fire, while fruit cocktails and smoothies make way for mulled wine and grog on the winter menu.

Golitsinsky Pond, Gorky Park, Krimsky Val 9, Moscow; tel: 7.495 783 0406

Writer: Anna Jackson-Stevens
Photography: Ilya Ivanov

Sandro Sherents and Oleg Shtofman of local architecture firm, Shar Project, have created a new home for Ostrovok restaurant

(Image credit: Ilya Ivanov)

Ostrovok Terrace, Moscow

(Image credit: Ilya Ivanov)

Azimut Moscow Tulskaya, Hotel, Moscow

Housed in a former 19th century textile factory, Moscow's first loft hotel is a new offering from Russia's respected Azimut group. Sited in an emerging area on the bustling 18-lane avenue known as the Garden Ring, the 144-room lodging is a short walk away from Tulskaya Metro station, which conveniently takes you directly to the heart of the Kremlin Gardens. Inside, vaulted ceilings and cast-iron columns are combined with state of the art appliances to deliver a simple and functional service, while the restaurant serves a mixture of European and traditional Russian fare. Property prices in the area are already beginning to soar, making this a neighbourhood to watch.

Varshavskoe Shosse 9; tel:  7.495 987 2222; www.azimuthotels.ru (opens in new tab)

Writer: Anna Jackson-Stevens

Azimut Moscow Tulskaya

(Image credit: TBC)

Black Market café, Moscow

The latest project from New York-born Isaac Correa, the man who brought us Moscow's celebrated Correa's Café, is a new restaurant called Black Market. Located just south west of the city centre in an area called Khamovniki, the eatery - which is Correa's biggest project to date - is housed unusually inside a dark, industrial loft. With its no-frills, masculine interior, it looks like it has been transplanted directly from New York's Meat Packing District. Black Market serves hamburgers that are as delicious as those at Correa's cheerful 'Upsidedown Café', as well as a variety of vegetarian options. Meanwhile, the Sunday brunch is one of the best in the city.

Ulitsa Usacheva, 2, str; tel: 7.495 989 0445; www.blackmarketcafe.ru (opens in new tab)

Writer: Nelli Konstantinova

Black Market café, Moscow

(Image credit: TBC)

Black Market cafe, Moscow

(Image credit: TBC)

Mendeleev Bar, Moscow

Incongruously squeezed between an art gallery and a couple of fashionable restaurants, in one of Moscow's chicest shopping districts, is a Chinese fast-food joint named Lucky Noodles. But all is not what it seems. By day, the shabby box-sized space leads to a counter where cooks serve-up a choice of three steamy dumpling noodle dishes, but at twilight, a velvet curtain to the right reveals a staircase that leads to Mendeleev Bar, a den of funky music and decadent absinthe-based cocktails dreamt up by mixologist Roman Milostivy. Chandeliers cling to vaulted ceilings above plush sofas in this baroque basement bar, which taps into the Asian menu at neighbouring Roni's for sustenance. Mendeleev Bar stays open till the last customer leaves, which after a 'Death in the Afternoon' or two, may not be unassisted.

Petrovka 20/1; tel: 7.495 625 3385

Writer: Anna Jackson-Stevens

Mendeleev Bar, Moscow

(Image credit: TBC)

Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms