Sunday, February 28, 2010

cantinetta antinori

Do you know who Arkady Novikov is?

Well, he is the founder of number of restaurants, some of them are big chains like Yolki Palki, Yapona Mama, or high scale places like GQ bar, Vogue Cafe or the matter in hand: Cantinetta Antinori.

Cantinetta Antinori was first opened in Florence, which I read great restaurant reviews about, but haven't been yet (or I don't recall). There are Cantinetta Antinori restaurants also in Zurich and Vienna. The one in Moscow is a joint project by Antinori wine house and Novikov Group.

I read the reviews before I went there because I chose the spot for our 7th anniversary with Asko-my hubby (btw it's our start-to-date anniversary, not marriage). But still I wanted to go to a nice romantic place with good food. Almost all the reviews I read about Cantinetta Antinori was negative, they said that it is a great restaurant chain but the moscow version is just not worth going because of the ridiculously overpriced menu.

Live and learn right?

We went there and as usual I was the only well dressed person there because it seems that mostly businessmen preffered the location since they could expense the meal. The prices are more ludicrous than Plyushchenko winning the silver medal.

I was in the supermarket earlier that day and waiting for Asko to come pick me up to help carry the bags. He got a little late so I walked around the wine part and looked at the prices a little bit. I swear I saw the half of the wines on the menu that night and it is beyond reason. 300 rubles a bottle Chile wines was priced for 600 rubles a glass. Have some commonsense!

So it is not a place to drink a lot of wine, ok...but the food? I consider myself an italian-cuisine fan, I couldn't believe my taste buds. I ordered spaghetti alle vongole and Asko ordered Tuscan bean soup and lasagna. My spaghetti came in 3 seconds which we didn't understand how? There were no shells to begin with...It is for me one of the best things about spaghetti with clams, you play with your food, you extract the meat from the shells. Plus you can see how healthy your clams are. Also it looks much better on the plate. Anyway...since it came so fast it got cold even faster. I really love asparagus in that dish but I've never had one undercooked. And pasta was overcooked. The sauce was more than juicy and it needed a little salt because there was nothing resembling a flavor in that dish. (it costs 1400 rubles btw)

Asko's soup was good but came in a very tiny portion and it costs 700 rubles (for 100 g of soup, figurati!). His lasagna was good but nothing special. I stand corrected that I make the best lasagna bolognese in the world (and I've been to Bologna).

The interior, I have to give them credit, was sweet and comforting. All the jars of pickles and pasta looked so enriching. However, I am not a big fan of FAKE flowers in that type of a restaurant. You over-charge anyway, give something back in return!

And for the complimentary stuff; like juice they serve as soon as you sit on table (very unnecessary) and the sweets they bring with tea are very inadequate, just for sake of serving something.

Soon I will try "Da Cicco" in Profsoiusnaya. One dear Italian friend of mine recommended it but it is so south we always skip it. After Cantinetta Antinori, I would love to try good italian food. Ah, what a disappointment...

I will soon write about El Asador, the spanish restaurant. I loved that one, but what you order is really important.

See you next post

Friday, February 12, 2010

ode to snow

I haven't gone out for four days now. Maybe even more. I will start to have that phobia, whatsitsname, the one that sigourney weaver had in copycat killer movie. The fear of leaving the house. I will continiue my evolution towards botanical substances. I may actually perform photosynthesis to survive. Maybe I will lose weight. If I don't mind the green, I will be supermodel thin. Hehe...I'm bored.

I've almost finished my freelance work, 3D chocolate modelling. Luckily I'm not a chocolate person.

I'm impatiently waiting to see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. What's up with Johnny Depp's eyes, I'm curious.

I am a pro on I pod touch TH poker now. Texas holdem of course. Not a pro maybe. But getting there...

Alexander McQueen passed away. Most of the girls tweeted as if they have lost their uncles. I have to admit I don't know his designs. But I read that he was too young. Bummer...

Now we have google buzz thingy...I doubt that it would improve communication by any means. But what do I know, I was skeptic about twitter.

I want to create a poll of some sort. Who is cuter, Robert Downey Jr or ...boy I can't think of a competitor. Haha, no poll afterall :) But let me know if you can think of anyone who is cuter than he is...(we are looking for cute ladies and gentlemen...not hot...cute...)

The other day (I think it was a week ago) we went to see the British American poster exhibition on Pushkin Museum of Fine arts. The posters were amazing and all but at the end of the hall, started a shitload of french paintings. I still cannot understand how I missed that part. I visited the museum at least 3 times but always the main gallery. This part had Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gaugin, Miro, Kandinsky, Chagall, Monet, Renoir and countless other artists. This is what John Locke must've feel like when he found the hatch, I thought. (oh, have you seen the first two episodes of the sixth season...I wouldn't be surprised if they find yet another tribe living in the island. How big is this island anyhow? is jacob a prophet? next time on lost) Anyway the trip to Pushkin MOFA was absolutely a wonderful surprise. And the surprise element in Moscow continiues...

Have you notice that this year the snow haven't shut the f%*&! up yet. I guess it has something more to say to the audience. I am so fed up with it. I miss the sunshine. The first time I see a clear blue sky I will definitely sing "sun is shining, the weather is clear/ want you to know, I'm a rainbow too" in my head.

By the way does anyone know a good comic book drawing programme with all the applications for frames and speech baloons for Mac. Let me know.

Oh did I save the best for last or what: check out Pavel Ruminov's videos if you are hungry for inspiration:

That's all for now.
Take care and come to water me from time to time