Review of the most glamorous restaurant this spring – Folk – The City, 10.03.2022

The Folk restaurant, which opened on the first floor of the Legends of Tsvetnoy multifunctional complex, next to Sberbank’s office, is probably the last bright opening of the fast-fading restaurant era. Or the first discovery of a new era, because, as practice shows, people never stop going to restaurants under any circumstances. Alexander Ilyin tells how things go there.

First of all, you have to understand that Folk is all jagged new. It was invented by Dmitry Romanov, formerly known as the managing director of the highly successful Lucky Group (Lucky Izakaya Bar, Eva and others). He then joined Vladimir Chistyakov, chef at Buro TSUM and Grace Bistro. And then Anton Pinsky, one of the New Wave’s most important restaurants, is responsible for a whole bunch of Arkady Novikov brands (including Novikov, Avocado Queen and Cheese Factory), as well as the AVA restaurant. That is, people who have already learned how to make money, but so far have their own view of everything in the world.

Sense

The concept was announced, at first glance, commercially promising: Caucasian cuisine without khachapuri and khinkali (although wait, how is it without khachapuri?). At the same time, launching was not easy – Chistyakov says he sent four versions of the menu to the trash. Let’s see what survived.

The menu includes the sections “Xylofournos”, “Sta plate”, “Appetizers and salads”, “Soup”, “Hot dishes”, “Saslik”, “Garnishes”, “Desserts”. I agree, at first glance, the interest in live fire is palpable. Obviously, this is exactly what the Caucasus should symbolize. Exactly what to symbolize, because when you enter a restaurant you do not find tandoor and barbecue, but you see an oven with a completely Pompeian look. It stands proudly in the middle of the room – and it’s good that it is, because there’s not much to say about Folk’s interior design. This, of course, exists – and was probably made by their craftsmen, but last season, almost all new restaurants preferred color solutions reminiscent of a dead moth. This style probably has fans, but I do not.


What to order

Review of the most glamorous restaurant of this spring - Folk
Review of the most glamorous restaurant of this spring - Folk

So let’s go back to the oven. In it, first, flat cakes (300 rubles) are cooked and Chistyakov is rightly proud of these flat cakes. The dough for them is kneaded on the basis of yogurt and is almost 70% in the composition and therefore it is soft, tender, but strong. You can eat them as you wish, but it is better to order specially designed supplements, the most delicious is the grilled eggplant (400 rubles). In fact, it is so simple to say, Chistyakov equipped it with so many additional details that it is hard to remember: tkhina sesame paste, Uzbek kaimak, lemon juice from Abkhazia, all kinds of seeds and so on. You say, “What is it?” It’s him, like him, the babaganush. Well, first of all, it tastes better than 90% of Moscow Babaganush. And this is the most important feature of Chistyakov’s creative way – he knows how to give a touch of impress to the simplest things. It seems, why reinvent hummus (350 rubles)? Everyone eats it anyway. But no, let’s add raisins, mint and saffron oil.

Review of the most glamorous restaurant of this spring - Folk

Or take lahmacun. This, if you do not know, is such a long and narrow cake of the Middle East that has the status of a national treasure in Armenia. And every Armenian will tell you very well that you do not need to finish anything in Lahmatzun. So what if you try? In Folk, lahmacun takes the place of pizza, flammkuchen, quiche and, incidentally, khachapuri – and at the same time remains itself. Be sure to try lahmacun with olive, squid and lecho (950 rubles) – an amazing, inconceivable, cheerful dish.

Review of the most glamorous restaurant of this spring - Folk
Review of the most glamorous restaurant of this spring - Folk

About the same reckless nerve, the story goes on. Thus, the beef tartare (890 rubles) is served with creamy (!) Charisa and sprinkled with pecans and the salmon kebab (950 rubles) is served with dates and celery. Surprisingly, orzo pasta (650 rubles) with grilled vegetables and okra deserves special attention. These vegetables are essentially ajapsandal, but cooked in an extremely dry way that combines very well with steamed orzo. In my opinion, the best dish on the menu. At least it was at the time of my visit – the menu change is absolutely crazy, in one week it was updated by 30 percent, so something very wonderful could come up.

Alexander Ilyin

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