Jan 6, '08

L’Avenue by David Desseaux (Moscow)

David Desseaux and David Hemmerlé
The artists in the kitchen : David Desseaux (right) and David Hemmerlé

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Moscow has become a paradise market for luxury goods producers. You just have to walk in the centre near the Red Square and Bolshoi Theater and you will see luxury shops on almost every corner. And it’s not only because the Russian ( at least in the big cities) economy is soaring, it is also because Russians love only the newest, the most fashionable and the most luxurious things.

The Moscow restaurants scene has been influenced by similar trends. I have been travelling to the Russian capital for 6 years now and have witnessed how the restaurants culture has been changing and developing. If in 2001 you could count good restaurants on the fingers of one hand, now the choice is huge. With the choice came the quality. Before, an extravagant ambience was winning against the quality of food. But during recent years, rich Moscovites have become more and more educated in food and now they want both, chic and modern ambience as well as fresh and delicious food.  I have posted about some of the best Moscow restaurants like Nedalny Vostok, Pushkin Café or Vogue Café before, but this time I discovered something that I particularly loved – the cooking of David Desseaux, a mixture of the traditional Russian ingredients and the French gastronomy.

The restaurant
(picture from http://www.architecture-page.com/)

The restaurant shares the name with the famous (and infamous for its food) L’Avenue in avenue Montaigne in Paris and it is located in the “Luxury Village” which is in the suburbs(for rich) of Moscow. Basically, the ” Luxury Village” is a shopping centre, like malls outside Paris or other big cities, just instead of Ikea, you can buy there Gucci, Bulgari or Rolls Royce.


L’Avenue itself conforms to the last trend of the high end eating culture in Moscow  – eclectic design and cooking where only the freshest and the best ingredients are used. David Desseaux, the chef of L’Avenue brings the winds of French cooking and successfully marries his know-how with the traditional Russian cuisine. I guess there is a reason, why his book is called “A la rencontre du foie gras § du caviar“. The very best of the French and the very best of the Russian…

I didn’t take the picture of the first dish maybe because it was so delicious I forgot to do that! It was consommé of cèpes. The soup reminded me of the classical borsch, but had nothing in common with beetroots. A very modern interpretation of the Russian classics.

Then it was the turn for the extravaganza. Parmentier of Beluga caviar. The dish was simple but genius at the same time. The mashed potatoes were just slightly warm -like this, the heat didn’t kill the wonderful taste of caviar. Its dishes like this you remember for all your life…

Parmentier of Beluga caviar
Parmentier of Beluga caviar

The final dish was risotto with white Alba truffles. As delicious as risotto with truffles can be…

risotto with white Alba truffles
Risotto with white Alba truffles
Serving risotto with white Alba truffles
chocolate dessert
The very light chocolate dessert…
The black gold of Russian gastronomy…
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