June saw the dauntless members of the Moscow Good Food Club making their way to one of Moscow’s truly independent restaurants, Cafe Restaurant Michel located on Krasnaya Presnaya. With is authentic French decor beckoning, the Moscow Good Food Club made their way to the specially reserved tables on the first floor.
Cafe Michel is truly based on a Parisian style and often missed in Moscow is the exterior decoration. Next time you are stuck in traffic on Krasnaya Presnaya, just look at the detail of the external decoration.
We were welcomed with a light and refreshing Tribaut Brut Rose Champagne that perfectly accompanied the canapes of Salmon Profiteroles, Goat Cheese Profiteroles and a Macaroon with foie gras and mushrooms.
Once comfortably seated the impeccable staff introduced our first course of Scallops in fennel sauce, which was excellently paired with a M de Minuty Chateau Minuty from Provence.
As is tradition of the Moscow Good Food Club, even by the end of the first course the conversation flowed with new friendships being forged and old acquaintances being strengthened â maybe the excellent wine helps!
The next dish was a highly creative fresh tomato gazpacho served with an intriguing mustard ice cream. There was slight confusion with the wine pairing but still an interesting combination.
An interesting difference with the menu this evening was a first and a second main course. The first main course was a Surmullet Bohemian style and it was explained that CafÃ© Michel was serving a French style summer menu with an emphasis on fish. The Surmullet was succulent and excellent and admirably paired with a Pouilly Fume AOC Mademoiselle de T.
This was followed by our Second Main course, Zander with tomato fondue with sweet potato puree accompanied by a Chablis AOC from Laroche. Whilst the Pouilly Fume had been excellently paired with the Surmullet, the Chalis somehow did not work so well. However it could be noticed that all plates were cleaned and glasses emptied!
The Chef had excelled with his creativity and creativity but he had saved the best for last! A ‘Deconstructed Summer Dessert’ sounds somewhat obtuse or obscure, however as the name implies, the entire dessert is deconstructed into virtually its component forms and then displayed on the plate. The effect was wonderful and the taste amazing, receiving rapturous reviews from our members. This was accompanied by a Sancerre Compte Lafont Grand Cuvee which could have been sweeter!
As is customary, a spokesperson from each table was called on to provide the critique gathered from each table. These Critiques are always a form of positive criticism with most restaurants really appreciating the feed-back. This evening was no exception with a general positive mood signalling an excellent meal.
As is customary and to provoke spirited conversation during the meal, our members were asked to comment on a question. ‘The centre of Moscow is one big building site at the moment. Urban re-construction is changing the face of the city. Please name areas or streets that have been improved.’
Our members mentioned many favourites including Gorky Park and Sokolniky but others included Krimskiy Val, Nikolskaya, Pyatnitskaya, Ordinka, Museon and Pokrovka. All mentioned that they were eagerly awaiting the completion of Tvserkaya.
And so ended another great episode of the Moscow Good Food Club. Our grateful thanks to the management and staff of Cafe Michel for an excellent evening!