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Kroo Cafe: French Twist

Kroo Cafe // 27 Suvorovsky Prospekt // Tel. (906) 273 1111 // Open daily, 8.30 a.m. until midnight // Brunch for two without alcohol 1,200 rubles ($34.50)

Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • The more formal of the two dining rooms at Kroo Cafe.
    Photo: Kroo Cafe

Brunch in St. Petersburg falls between the nonexistent and the extravagant — between catch-as-catch-can and the full on splendor of hotel offerings like the champagne brunch at Grand Hotel Europe. A new cafe near Smolny, however, is set to change all that.

Kroo Cafe is owned by Francophile Violetta Kroo with a French expat chef in the kitchen, and offers weekend brunch from 8:30 a.m. until the respectable hour of 4 p.m — a godsend for those waking late on the weekend and in need of eggy sustenance.

Divided into two dining rooms separated by a display of baked goods, the cafe is decorated in calming blues and grays with a pop of color provided by red velvet covered banquettes in the more casual of the two rooms. Rustic yet sophisticated, the vibe is relaxed and welcoming.

The selection of brunch items on offer veers perilously close to the sweet end of the spectrum but there were enough savory items to keep us from turning to the full menu, which features French cuisine with a Russian twist and is available all day long.

Since the chef is French we decided to put his omelet- and quiche-making skills to the test with a feta and farmer’s sausage omelet (190 rubles, $5.46), and a quiche filled with salmon and spinach (190 rubles, $5.46). The diminutive quiche was first out of the kitchen and sat – as everything everywhere seems to do these days — perched atop a round, wooden cutting board covered in butcher’s paper. The tender flaky crust was held together with just enough custard to satisfy, although the portion size left a bit to be desired. A small accompanying dish of mustardy, herbed mayonnaise was a nice touch that added depth to what veered a bit too much toward the bland. The omelet was the platonic ideal of a dish that is, more often than not, served overcooked in most places. While the filling was also on the tame side, it was nonetheless a satisfying bite.

The croissants we had ordered at the start of the meal — one plain, one hazelnut filled — appeared as a separate course after the egg dishes despite our asking that they be delivered with our drinks. Served with a flourish atop an oval metal plate with a change of silverware we, of course, dug in with our hands. The sheen of butter left on our fingertips and the shards of flaky pastry scattered across our laps were the perfect testament to the chef’s mastery of this simple, yet miraculous invention. The slightly salty caramel and hazelnut praline that filled one of the croissants was so good we considered having a second.

We washed the meal down with a latte and a velvety smooth teacup half filled with hot chocolate (150 rubles, $4.31 each), which also arrived atop a sliver oval tray accompanied by a butter cookie and a shot of water. The presentation at Kroo Cafe veers towards the precious, but dispite the twee touches, a morning spent here was a gentle awakening after an indulgent night out that helped smooth the edges off the rest of the day.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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