B152 Tearoom: Chic Refuge
B152 Tearoom // 152 Nevsky Prospekt // Tel. 8 911 924 3137 // Mon-Thurs: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. // Dinner for two without alcohol: 2190 rubles ($66.40). // English menu available.
Published: December 25, 2013 (Issue # 1792)
With neighbors such as Chanel, Georgio Armani and Fendi, one may think they can only afford a liquid lunch as they approach the entrance of B152 Tearoom. However, despite the rarefied precincts, the new restaurant maintains the chic without heaping on the overly excessive charges.
Caught in the rain without an umbrella, it’s fair to say we were looking worse for wear as we accidentally headed upstairs in the Nevsky 152 building. Finding ourselves surrounded by designer items priced higher than amounts promised to you in Nigerian scam emails, we easily stood out and were quickly directed back downstairs and shown the way to B152. Fearing a similar situation as we approached the restaurant’s entrance, we were relieved when greeted by warm smiles and immediately felt welcomed in the fashionable new space.
Split into two areas, your eyes are immediately drawn to the alternate red and blue cushioned chairs that break up the minimalist design, making you wish you could inject some of that same effortless style in your own living area.
As to be expected, tea is the main feature of the four-page drinks menu. Offering varieties of black, green and herbal tea, we ordered the northern Ivan tea from Siberia (280 rubles, $8.50) and a serving of Ginger Glog from their non-alcoholic warm cocktail menu (280 rubles, $8.50). With a faint honey aroma, the black tea was light on the palate and the perfect setup for the meal ahead. Meanwhile there was nothing faint about the Ginger Glog, with the sharply perfumed drink instantly warming the body and eliminating any effects from a lingering cold. With ingredients such as ginger syrup, honey, lemon and spices, an optional shot of vodka would be a welcomed addition to truly kill off any winter ailments.
Offering a decent section of entrees, salads, soups and mains, the main menu offers enough variety to be enjoyed any time of day. To start, we ordered lima beans with basil pesto (210 rubles, $6.40) and a beetroot carpaccio and goat cheese salad (380 rubles, $11.50). The lima bean starter would have been perfect had it not been soaked in olive oil — the basil pesto with parmesan offered enough flavor….yet we still easily cleared the plate. No suggestions are offered for the generous serving of salad however, with the mixture of pine nuts, pomegranate, goats cheese, salad and of course fresh beetroot carpaccio delivering a reliable and satisfying combination.
Facing a window filled with nothing but the darkness and rain beyond, we couldn’t resist trying the chicken soup with noodles for something heartwarming (240 rubles, $7.30) along with crispy skin salmon (520 rubles, $15.70). Unfortunately the soup ended up being more thigh warming than heartwarming. Served with long pasta strands, the soup was generously topped with dill, hiding the dimpled appearance of pallid chicken skin still attached to the two pieces of white meat lurking below. For those not on a diet, the thick salmon fillet is worth the price tag. Served on a bed of steamed beans, drizzled with garlic oil and a slathering of basil pesto, the dish leaves you full without feeling heavy.
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