Always Do Sober
“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” Ernest Hemingway
By Charles Border
Photos by Alex Gorov
Hemingway’s is open for business. Both the huge veranda behind the main building, and the spruced up inside restaurant. Blessed by a warm August, which will hopefully extend through Babya Leto (Russia’s version of Indian Summer), the summer terrace is fast becoming a popular gathering place, weekend or not.
Passport owner John Ortega was impressed enough by the almost perfect pitchers of Margaritas (550r per liter) and the reasonably priced, tasty Tex Mex/Caribbean menu items that he invited some of his regular wine tasting group to check it out.
The summer terrace, sheltered under high timbered roof, centers around a huge, open bar, where Hemingway’s exotic cocktails are served up to the tune of Latin music. After a couple of Coronas (120r), we went straight to the Frozen Margarita pitchers and several plates of Jumbo Columbus – chicken wings, onion rings, fried calamari, mozzarella cheese sticks, potato skins, jalapeno poppers and chicken fingers served with salsa, sour cream and BBQ sauce (690r). On several occasions I have tried the Beef Steak Diana (350r), an ample salad of greens slightly wilted under thin slices of grilled peppery steak and the mustard Diana sauce – more than enough for a meal. The Hemingway’s Quesadilla (360r) is an excellent variant on the standard, not overcome with cheese. We also tried the Grilled Salmon (470r), the New York Strip Steak (750r), and Dallas Pepper Steak (580r), all well presented and finished off by our crew in short order.
Hemingway’s summer terrace is an easy place to feel comfortable, with ample room to wander around, hang out at the bar, and enjoy the Latin trio that nightly serenades guests. As winter closes in, it will be time to move inside. Hemingway’s will be a great venue for company parties, with two large separate dining areas, and a private dining room.
The food, cocktails, and ambiance of Hemingway’s has pushed it to a leading position in its class. And John was very pleased with the bill; the complete evening for about twelve of us including cocktails cost about 9,000 rubles. As a group of winos, the only complaint we registered with some of Hemingway’s expat owners was the lack of a decent wine selection. We were told that they had not “gotten around to it,” but we were reassured, certain that contractor/ owner Len Readle could find some “Round Tuits” at an open market at the 36-kilometer mark of MKAD.