The foaming legacy of Ferran Adria
Claim to fame: In vino veritas
Reason to go: Wine- and food pairings that keep you guessing
To look out for: Commander Islands squid, cooked in a Josper, paired with a serious bottle of Burgundy
The full name of this food and wine bar is Grand Cru by Adrian Quetglas. Indeed; an Argentinian-born Majorcan who for some unclear reasons has spent half of his life in Moscow, Quetglas has definitely turned an ordinary grand cru into cru classé. With a kitchen the of the size of a postage stamp and ambitions greater than any Russian ever had, he created not just an ask-me-what-we-have-list but a proper foaming and smoking menu, in the molecular fashion of that era. Since then the Muscovites’ gastronomic preferences have changed drastically, Super Tuscans have been swapped for Bourgogne, the neighborhood around Grand Cru has turned into a crossbreed of the Marais and Williamsburg, and the only thing that’s remained the same is the chef, Adrian Quetglas.
Passing a crowd of hipsters loitering on the sidewalks of Malaya Bronnaya, you finally spot the right door and find yourself in a wine library where every wall is covered with wine racks. There’s a champagne wall, a wall dedicated to Burgundy, there’s Spain and there’s a collection of Italian vintages, the best in the city. Any bottle can be opened for you, a great selection is also available by the glass. So do as the regulars, order wine and something to pair it with, then order another round, because the first one was just too wonderful.
Josper-roasted squid from the Commander Islands with nori chips? Seafood raviolo in smoked tomato soup? Lamb tongue with pumpkin parmentier? If you make a question out of every dish, there’s always an answer for you, just like on Google; a glass of matching wine; and vice versa––a sip of something that makes the dish complete. And even though Quetglas has almost outlived his molecular period, he still cannot find it within himself to part with liquid azote and dry snow for good, so his food is still smoking and bubbling, as if Ferran Adria’s spirit has blessed every dish.
A wise option here is Gran Cru’s tasting menu, it allows you to take full advantage not only of the wine list, but also of Quetglas’ signature cuisine. The menu features six courses, none of them vegetarian or vegan; dorado tartare with squid cream and zucchini spaghetti, «golden» egg, veal Stroganoff with porcini and “soil” made of dark rye bread.
The seasons come and go, the menus change, new wine cases get delivered.