Vladimir Gridin tries a potato for 1,200 rubles at Losev and Istomin’s new gourmet coffee.
In April of this year, an incredible event happened: Vitaly Istomin, chef at Tehnikum, co-chef at Sakhalin, and Artem Losev, chef at Gorynych and Mushrooms, voluntarily left the White Rabbit family. Boris Zarkov’s restaurant has never suffered such a significant loss of staff and the friendly duo announced the opening of a tiny pleasant restaurant in the courtyards of central Moscow on the day of the announcement of their departure. And in just four months, it was built and opened in collaboration with Anton Pinsky, a great restaurant franchise specialist.
Ava is the new star of the Patriarchs
Istomin and Losev prepared thoroughly for their debut as restaurants, having studied in detail the characteristics of the site and the public that inhabited it. Ava took the place of the Globe Gourmet in Malaya Bronnaya, which did not take off due to the pandemic, just opposite the Grand Cru and next to the modern Pino. The theme is more than attractive. The audience is stylish, greedy for everything sexy wow, here it goes on the narrow sidewalks in dense schools like salmon spawning. To attract it, a light, minimalist interior is enough (in such a selfie they prove to be very expressive), an easy menu without decorative elements, truffles, burrata, scallops, foie gras and artichokes to show the situation to others and an obscene right column in the menu to confirm it to himself. Ava fully meets all these requirements.
Irina Glik’s studio dealt with the interior
The restaurant hall is designed so that it does not attract attention. It’s good, pleasant and invisible – all the focus here is on people and food. The coolest tables are of course in the windows, but even better is the one next to the open kitchen distribution. A small group of 4-5 people can sit at a table made of thick plywood with anatomical relief for the hands. From there you can perfectly see the room with fifty seats, none of which is empty for more than half an hour a day. It is no coincidence that more than 16 thousand people subscribed to the restaurant’s Instagram with two posts.
Tartina with eel
Ava’s menu does not even try to impress. Rejecting the gastronomic revolution, the chef-restaurants take something old and familiar, slightly modify the recipe and send them from the narrow kitchen, where, as it seems, they do not take chefs over 46 in the hall. Food comes out without difficulties and statements, barely implying the Mediterranean.
Octopus with tomatoes, olives and tahini yogurt
Nickel-sized donuts stuffed with crab and mango sauce, mini tartines with scallop and bottarga on yeast-free bread, sea bass sea bass in tofu sauce with tomato and baby zucchini under yuzu snow, pate foie gras with grilled hazelnuts, black truffle, muhammara broccoli, super classic scallop and black truffle risotto, mafaldin cacho-e-pepe with mushrooms – everything is delicious without exception. All the gastronomic food is taken into account and the labne with baked beets in gooseberry juice, figs and crunchy pecans is just like “I will put the best immediately”: sweet, creamy and happy crunchy at the same time (470 rubles).
Beetroot with labneh, figs and raisin sauce
The menu sections called coquette “For weight loss” and “Champagne” do not hide the love of the duo for simple dishes with many calories. Perhaps the strongest slaps in the face of common taste in them were the already mentioned fried donuts with crab (700 rubles) and baked chicken (950 rubles). You do not have to judge the last of a tiny saucer with edamame hummus with grace: it just dissolves against the background of a heavy bird carcass with a fried crust. Supporters of keto and just lovers of rich food are excited.
Baked chicken with edamame hummus and charissa
Fatty, sweet and savory make delicious not only fast food, but also french fries. In Ava it is being prepared in two versions. There is a simpler – just a roast of crispy slices with poached egg and truffle (620 rubles). There is more difficult – Fisherman’s potatoes (1200 rubles). They named it after a restaurant in Los Angeles where they cook something similar. It tastes like baked potato with black caviar and sour cream, but technologically everything is much more complicated. About 30 layers of potatoes smeared with duck fat are cooked in the saucepan for half a day, then baked and fried in josper.
Potato fisherman with black caviar
This kind of food, recognizable by taste, but without looking for the simplicity to carry it, was not enough for me in Ava. Ava answers the question not “what”, but “for whom”. Do you want citizens? Nate, sign it, get it. Covering the tastes of the audience, the trio of restaurants lost sight of the fact that this same audience will soon ask the opposite question: “For what?” Why go to Ava when there are fifty other restaurants nearby with labneh, tahini, muhamara, guacamole and hummus, where there is tartar, and burrata, and pasta and octopus? I do not know the answer to that. Maybe time will tell. Or maybe, having made money in the first restaurant, Istomin and Losev will open a second one and continue to take the risk of making food that we did not even know we wanted to eat and fall madly in love with.
Champagne jelly with strawberries
The opinion of the author may not coincide with the opinion of the authors
Vladimir Gridin – other materials:
Hedonist: khinkali and khachapuri in the style of Spanish modernism
Weather forecast: Cosmopolitans in Trubnaya
Grace Bistro: French colonies to the Patriarchs
Touch: new Russian cuisine
Quiet, noisy, hidden and popular: the best terraces in Moscow
Mandy’s: bagels, mussels and baba ganoush in Pokrovka
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