Moscow

Stolovaya No. 57

20

3 Red Sq., GUM department store,
Moscow,

Russia,

A self-service homegrown hot spot. No gels or foams here at this doting replica of a Communist-era stolovaya (workers’ canteen) within the ritzy GUM department store. Just smoky pea soup, oladyi (small, lacy blini) fried in rich Vologda butter, and cleanly rendered herring under a fur coat (a.k.a. beet salad), that sine qua non of a proletarian repast, served on grayish stolovaya-issue dishware. The golden schnitzels and rosy franks look like their Technicolor photos in the Book of Healthy and Tasty Cuisine, a beloved Stalin-era kitchen bible. Long lines at the cashier add authenticity. Everyone’s here: Kremlin staffers and slinky GUM salesgirls, a millionaire and his bodyguard, all clearing their own dishes, nostalgic for the days of the “classless society.”