The culinary diversity of any great city relies greatly on the creativity and experience of it’s Chefs, their influences, training and nationalities coupled with the design, location and direction of it’s establishments. Despite already offering an almost endless range of different food styles and vast spectrum of restaurants, Moscow’s development appears to be continuing un-abated. Great news for food lovers that want to experience something new in the city!
The Moscow Good Food Cub was intrigued by the invitation to sample a meal at the recently opened Wine & Brew on Sadova-Kudrinskaya, an excellent location and easy to reach from all directions.
Located on the first floor, Wine & Brew is a relaxed establishment that is combining a most extensive wine list, a vast rage of draught and craft beers in addition to highly creative cuisine. The welcome is friendly and the establishment is almost offering something for everyone. There are high tables next to the bar, great for relaxing with friends after work, there are large tables for 10 and a variety of smaller tables some with lovely views out to Sadova. The wine list is really extensive and one of the better that we have seen in Moscow, for beer lovers there is a range of excellent tap beers in addition to the extensive range of craft beers.
However our reason to visit was the food as we had heard great rumours about their vibrant Executive/Brand Chef, Charle Visser. Quite a visionary, Charle is a native of South Africa and has worked in many great kitchens around the world including the Dorchester, so it was with great anticipation that our eminent members arrived to be welcomed with a light Aperol spritz accompanied by home made bread with smoked butter, Kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes.
As customary we took our seats promptly at 20:00 and the feast could begin. The first starter was a Moroccan Spiced Hummus served with crispy Lebanese flatbread with pistachio salt. The hummus was excellent, smooth and full of flavour, however it was the wafer thin, black Lebanese flatbread that stole the show! This first course was paired with an excellent Terroir Blanc Gai-Kodzor 2016, one of the finest of the emerging Russian white wines. Delicious, crisp and fruity, the only comment was that the wine could have been cooler.
The Chicken Liver Parfait with almond gel, sour-cherry and toasted brioche was a show stopper and had most members reaching for their phones! The chicken liver parfait was ensconced within the almond gel in an applet format, highly creative but the parfait, whilst excellent in taste, was not fully set and could have been firmer. However and excellent and appealing dish that was admirably paired with a light but full favoured Zweigelt-Laimer 2015 from Langenzersdorf in Austria.
Now our members had warmed to the culinary creativity of Charle Visser and were waiting with anticipation for the next dish. Birch Wood Hot Smoked Salmon with horseradish ice cream, green apple and sorrel! What an amazing combination! And an amazing dish it was! The smoked salmon was melt-in-your-mouth perfection, the horse radish ice cream strong, pungent yet creamy and cold(!), the green apple and sorrel was topped with the thinnest sliver of a full corn bread. A superbly balanced dish that combined a variety of flavours to perfection. The dish slightly over powered the wine pairing, an Allo Alvarinho & Loureiri Soalheiro, from Minho, Portugal. Whilst beautifully balancing fruitiness and acidity it lacked flavour to pair with the complicated flavouring of the dish.
The dinner continued with a main course which was Black Angus Beef Blade with smoked potato mouse and chimichurri sauce. The blade is a lovely cut of steak and had been slowly cooked to perfection with the smoked potato mouse providing a delicate background flavour. A delicious dish paired with an Irrepetible – Altandon 2015 a full bodied red with plenty of bold tannin perfectly complementing the course.
So how could Charle complete this amazing meal. Whilst a Sticky Toffee Pudding with Ryazazhenka Ice cream looked a little incongruous on the menu it proved to be a light, sweet and delicate finale to a great meal with the puffed buckwheat providing crispy bursts of flavour. The dessert was accompanied with a most interesting Amaro Nonino, Grappa based and infused with a blend of herbs, spices and roots!
Admirably sated, our venerate members commenced their deliberations for the Critique, an important aspect of the Moscow Good Food Club meetings.
All were unanimous in their praise for Charle Visser and his image of a modern, classical meal with inspirational touches from around the world. Olga Konchenko was also highly congratulated on her excellent wine pairings. The service was commended though some improvements could be made to the co-ordination of the dishes and the wines.
The Moscow Good Food Club scores for Wine & Brew restaurant are:-
Food Quality 9.25
Quality/suitability of the drinks 8.25
The Service Standards 8.25
The General Rating of the Meal 8.75
So congratulations to Charle Visser, Olga Khomchenko and the inspired owners of Wine & Brew. You greatly pleased the palates of our members and they will be visiting and sending their friends to you. An interesting and comfortable concept, amazing wines, great beer selection and highly creative and exceptional food!