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November 16, 2004

Cafe Pushkin

Cafe Pushkin is this 24-hour Moscow institution that screams "old people=old money". It's a cafe-slash-restaurant that serves traditional russian dishes, all prices in euros, and quite "elitny".

Jane and I went here on my first week in Moscow at around 2AM and it was dead empty so we went out immediately. The interiors are quite classic and rustic european and very traditional (high ceilings, french windows, you know the drill).

However, I really wanted to try this place cause I've heard so many reviews about it. Not giving up, I went ahead and invited Mark to have dinner with me.

We hired a Merc just to bring us to the restaurant. I wore a little baby blue and navy blue striped t-shirt, bleached jeans (old Mcqueen), chanel handbag, little white fox fur jacket, gold vintage cowboy boots and d&g chains and teddy bear appliques with crystals "patched" on my jeans. Mark wore a simple sweater and some jeans.

When we arrived, door person opened our Merc and I stepped out, stomping the ground with my cowboy boots as if it were a huge catwalk ala fashion week.

Security and door person welcomed us with a smile... at first I thought they weren't gonna let us in because my outfit definitely doesn't fit the venue. However, everyone was nice and friendly; I think this is one place where clothes DO NOT MATTER at all and I can be myself.

When we went inside, the entire crowd was in their late 40's, most human males were in suits and most women were quite, well, elegant... and there I was, little camp asian boy in his little clubbing outfit.

Who gives a fuck though. Nobody cared, nobody bat an eyelid.

Waiter asked us for aperitifs; I asked for a gin tonic, and Mark asked for a sambuca.

Yes. a sambuca. at Cafe Pushkin. Imagine the look on the waiter's face when Mark said that. Me and the waiter giggled (in a nice joking manner) and then I told him that we'll just get Mark a gin tonic as well. Poor Mark... it must be tough to be in his shoes. Not only he has to tag along with the queen of the royal fags, but it was also his first time in a pseudoposh place.

I told him not to be concious and just be himself.

I placed my order -- asked for blinis and caviar, and then a huge steak with potatoes and vegies. And with Mark being a gentleman, he said he didn't want to eat anything and he'll just drink instead.

I told him it's ok, he can get what he wants and I'll pay for it, but he continously refused to do so because he thought it was expensive and he didn't want to "spend" my money.

I felt utterly guilty cause I spent the next 40 minutes pigging out in front of him and all he did was drink 3 gin tonics.

He still said it was ok.

Our bill... for my meal, about 7 gin tonics, and a bottle of evian, was around 130 euros.

Honestly, I loved the place. Everyone was nice and helpful, the service is extremely fast and swift, the doormen, security, waiters and ushers were very friendly and warm, the music was quite alright (although a bit in the dark ages... classical... violin players and all), our table was good, right beside the window, overlooking the street. Overall it's a place if you would like to take someone for a romantic date.

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