Red and black interior and staff uniform inspired by Malevich, darkness and candles, chill-rave from the speakers and pumpkin with a chicken on a plate – all this remembers “Afisha” observer Anna Maslovskaya after visiting restaurant “Severyane” that is not opened yet. The new project of restaurateur Ilya T’utenkov and chef Uilliam Lamberti, who has launched Uilliam’s, Ugolek, Pinch, will open maximum in two weeks right next door to “Ugolek”. Restaurants of this superduet are always long-delayed, and the new one is not an exception. It seems like Moscow has been waiting for “Severyane” for already a year. And now the team is really on the homestretch. This weekend I was at one of the first menu trials and drew some conclusions.
T’utenkov and Lamberti always organize test-dinners. After those tasting’s menu often changes for 100%. I remember how 5 years ago I came to “Ugolek” for such dinner for the first time. Risotto with horsemeat tartare, beef in chocolate sauce – it was delicious and impressive in term of sense: I will never forget it and perhaps even will write a column about them. The horsemeat risotto is a prototype of risotto with beef tartare that everyone loves. As you understand, horsemeat was rejected by guests after test-dinners. I was in minority.
For such dinners restaurateur invite friends and neighbors, sometimes literally inhabitants of neighboring houses. Everyone gets lists with printed dish names and a pencil. The task is to speak out honestly and distinctly about what you had just tried. I wrote everything on a sheet of paper in “Severyane” and will repeat here my comments about the best of what I ate, hoping that it will remain. Now both Uilliam and Ilya are going to change everything at all before the opening so that one hit is followed by another. To my mind, there are just 5 hits in the suggested menu, and two of them are desserts.
Amongst entrees it is chicken. Meat has a texture frog meat alike– subtle, instantly sliding in one’s throat. Wonderful, tasty, makes you want cook like that at home. Amongst starters – pumpkin with cuscus, crispy sage, nut butter. I enjoyed it the most and, as far as I’ve heard from people around, many enjoyed it, too. Another starter is a celery root salad with truffle – it resonates with my favorite truffle-cabbage salad at Glenuill. And two desserts – black spicy pineapple with coconut cream and a cottage cheese mousse with porridge and “melted sallowthorn ice-cream”.
All the desserts were made in the most up-to-date manner – so that they would be enjoyed both by sweet-tooth and by those who usually do not order desserts. On a plate there is a set of ingredients, and through mixing them all by yourself you can control dessert’s sweetness. For instance, I did not touch candy-floss in a cottage cheese mousse with porridge and was happy.
Atmosphere is crucial
I’ve been screaming out for five years that the most important thing in a restaurant is food, but Moscow public still comes for an atmosphere. I should admit that when we talk about “Severyane”, even I will come for it. It seems so unique that even leaves aftertaste – specific visual-gustatory code that feels like emotions that accompany good book or movie. A simple rule worked here – do what you love, and it looks like the whole team followed it. Ilya and Uilliam had chosen as the executives those people whom they know for the long time and with whom they are friends, and therefore their hands were untied.
An architect Natalya Belonogova (she worked at “Ugolek”, Pinch, AQ Kitchen, Madame Wang, Santo Spirito, and generally is the main Moscow restaurant designer) made her favorite – dark, harsh – space which description needs some bold artistic image. Imagine a caveman in a fell, whose house is a black and red spaceship. There are huge chandeliers of simplest salt structures on tables, flat rectangular lamps with microchips carved on them, hanging on a line from above. Black and grey are diluted by red furniture and colored dishes.
Tatyana Mamedova, designer and cinema costume director, has sewed the uniform for waiters in her typical manner – futuristic, obviously copied from Kazimir Malevich’s paintings. Some of the costumes cause associations with cosmic executioners’ uniform: imagine that your food is brought to you by a person in a loose hoodie to the ankle.
The main person responsible for the music in T’utenkov’s projects – Georgy Topuridze – has selected viscous melancholy-minor soundtrack that seems to get under your skin. Tracks are not bound to any particular genre. According to Georgy’s words, this is chill-rave – a term that they have invented themselves, and here is a list of names to decipher it: Ninze, Nu, Oceanvs Orientalis, Acid Pauli – Topuridze wants to bring all of them to perform at “Leveldva” bar above “Ugolek”.
All together – sound, light, interior, clothes – works on the diving into the atmosphere better than any of the props in topical restaurants-attractions. It is scary and maybe thence – spellbinding.