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German Larkin

The Vanderlust insider shares his hotspots in Moscow

German Larkin, a journalist, photographer and avid traveler, lives in Milan, but moves around the world in leaps and bounds, and, of course, he visits Moscow often. We found out what places he has taken a special liking to in Moscow and where he enjoys spending time.

Patriarch's Ponds is my region. That is where I spend most of my time and try to hold all my meetings, be it business meetings or dinner with friends. For the past six months, preference has usually gone to the cozy restaurant Pinch. Unhackneyed, intelligently prepared recipes using fresh and simple food, service that is friendly but not too friendly, and a relaxed, quiet atmosphere (despite the fact that there are never empty tables)  — all of this immediately won my heart (and stomach). After bringing friends here, I'd frequently run into them again here later, but with other friends — everybody likes Pinch without exception.

As an export from St. Petersburg, this restaurant does not belong to any of the well-known chains, however, which prevents it from being stamped with a soulless menu and one-size-fits-all decor a la "Provence with lampshades.” The restaurant's recent appointment of a new chef also worked in its favor, so, my next dinner with friends will probably be here once again! 

For all the variety of restaurants and bars in Moscow, the city still didn't seem to have enough places that could be described using the word “happening” in the Anglo-Saxon manner, that is, there weren't enough places full of life and energy. So, the restaurant "Ugolek" and the adjoining bar filled that niche – it's a happening place.  Noisy, booming, the doors almost never close, since guests are always going outside to smoke, wrapping themselves in throw blankets. The cloakroom attendant immediately asks, “Do you have a reservation?” – hinting that you can't get a table here too easily. Inside, you'll find many familiar faces: from tv, movies, the media, models, and some office workers, but all of this without glamour and glitz, and more akin to the Bohemian restaurant Derriere in the heart of Paris's district. 

The kitchen is open, equipped with vintage cast iron stoves. Ilya Tyutenkov, the kind founder of “Ugolek,” collected these stoves from all over America, and he found the unique furniture from the 1960s and 1970s for the bar on the second floor in Paris, in the endless vintage bazaars of Clignancourt. Combined with a killer sound system behind plywood and video projections on the brick walls, this bohemian bar “Bobo” promises hot nights and interesting new acquaintances.

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