Last night we had a traditional Russian dinner at Savva, the top Russian restaurant at the Metropol Hotel in Moscow. The Metropol Hotel itself is legendary, as it was built in 1905 and it was the best hotel in Moscow before the 1917 Russian Revolution.
Today it is definitely one of the city’s top luxury hotels, and it is a must stay for those who want to experience culture and history. So much history happened at the Metropol.
Recently it has begun a luxury refurbishment of its interiors. Savva, its top restaurant, is today a beautiful restaurant that brings back the days of Imperial Russia. It has kept much of its original interiors, which were created by the famous designer Ignatiy Nevinsky in 1905. So even today you can still see the classic marble columns and the wall and ceiling paintings that he chose.
I had long wanted to eat in Savva as I had heard about its authentic Russian cuisine. The chef of Savva, Andrey Shmakov, is also well-known in Moscow’s gourmet circles for his expert blending of traditional Russian cooking with Moscow local culinary traditions and some techniques for contemporary cuisine.
THE DAYS OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA
Savva is actually named after Savva Mamontov, the founder of the Metropol Hotel himself. So the restaurant is really a tribute to him. I loved the interiors. We had the corner table with a view of the Kremlin, and from here I imagined how Moscow might have been over 100 years ago.
I am sure that the Metropol Hotel and its restaurants were the favorite places of the Russian nobility and Russian aristocracy. Everyone who was anyone in Moscow and in the era of Imperial Russia must have spent time here.
THE BEST LOCATION IN MOSCOW
The Metropol is also the best hotel in Moscow in terms of location, too. The Bolshoi Theater and the Maly Theater are just in front, and the Kremlin is next door. The shopping streets of Arbat and main Moscow avenue of Tverskaya are also very nearby.
At Savva, we chose the gastronomic Russian tasting menu. This offered all traditional Russian dishes, but the food was all done in a stylish contemporary way. I was eager to try the Russian menu as I had just flown into Moscow yesterday from one week in the Crimea, and the food in Crimea is quite different from Moscow.
I also have only a few days in Moscow. So, of course, I had to eat the best Russian food available.
THE BEST SPECIALTIES OF SAVVA
Savva has many specialties. They have a tender deer fillet with celery and coffee, braised eel in kvass with honey, and a tender duck.
We began and ended our Russian gastronomic menu with shots of vodka. This is very Russian, of course. The vodka to start was a horseradish vodka, which was paired very well with some raw fish appetizers and two kinds of caviar on blini.
Then we went on to pelmini, which is the traditional Russian dumpling with some soup. Usually, pelmini is made with meat. But at Savva, they created pelmini with fish. It was very delicious.
BORSCHT IN MOSCOW
Of course, we also had borscht. And the borscht at Savva is most authentic borscht I have tasted so far in Russia. It came with the freshly chopped herbs and the sour cream.
For the main course, we ordered one beef and one fish so that we could taste both.
Finally, a dessert of Russia honey cake with raspberries was served. We ate this with a shot of honey vodka. Both the dessert and the honey vodka were so delicious. It was the perfect way to end my first evening back in Moscow, living a Travelife.
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