Brunches are not the most popular entertainment in Moscow. In vain: a leisurely meal with a glass of good wine in a beautiful location is a great start to a weekend. And for restaurants, this is a good opportunity to attract new customers. Especially now, when the residents of the city, while they were in quarantine, managed to miss the restaurants.
The tradition of brunch has been around for over a century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “brunch” (constructed, as you know, by adding breakfast and lunch) was invented by the English journalist Guy Beringer. In an article for Hunter’s Weekly, he dreamed of a Sunday brunch for those who had been drinking alcohol the night before, and pleaded with restaurants to adopt this format. They went forward. At the beginning of the twentieth century. brunch was also enjoyed on the other side of the Atlantic. They were in particular demand among successful stock players and Hollywood celebrities who, staying in luxury hotels, had the habit of starting to drink in the morning. By the 1980s, late breakfasts began to be arranged not only in expensive restaurants, but also in more democratic establishments. The popularity of the format was also promoted by the TV series Sex and the City, whose heroines washed the bones of their lovers just at the brunch.
Old-timers and newbies
The Moscow restaurant “Turandot” is one of the oldest and most consistent conductors of brunch culture. Brunches have been held here since 2008 every Sunday. The menu includes rolls and sashimi, dim sum and crispy dumplings with crab, tom-yum soup and pasta with seafood, mini-burgers and Pozhansky cutlets, salad with crispy duck, crushed cucumbers, etc. Price – 5750 rubles. per person, food and alcohol are not limited. “Of course, a brunch at a fixed price cannot bring extra profits to a restaurant, but if it is popular, then this format can be profitable,” says Alena Schwartz, Marketing Director of Maison Dellos. “And for new guests who know exactly in advance how much they will have to pay, regardless of the amount eaten and drunk, this is a great opportunity to get to know the restaurant.” The usual Sunday brunch at Turandot is attended by 200-250 people, while brunches dedicated to special events (for example, holidays) are twice as many.
And for the Kotelnaya bar, famous for its musical parties, brunch is a new format. On New Year’s Eve, they began to arrange jazz brunches here on Sundays: the price of 1,500 rubles. per person includes three items from a special menu from chef Dmitry Pogorelov, a choice of six of the most popular cocktails and, of course, live jazz. “This format solved several problems for us at once,” says the manager of the bar, Artem Masaltsev. – First, we wanted to attract a new audience. Secondly, due to the limitations of night activities, the task was to shift the flow of guests to an earlier time. Thirdly, we decided that the jazz brunch is just a beautiful story for the New Year period. The guests liked it, so we decided to keep the format and develop it further ”.
However, the brunch does not have a strict format. Rule one: it is served during the day on weekends. Everything else is at the discretion of the organizers. Some rely on unlimited food and drinks, others on cultural and entertainment programs, and still others on a special menu. A branch can have any feature.
In the Burler restaurant, for example, these are hits of the Italian stage. During brunch, Roberto Caldini performs them, accompanying himself on the piano. Chef Giuseppe Davi’s menu includes various antipasti, burrata with tomatoes and Parma ham with melon, lasagna alla bolognese and spaghetti with vongole, as well as a dozen traditional Italian desserts. Brunch buffet costs RUB 4900. per person.
And the crab brunches of the Wine & Crab restaurant are, first of all, an opportunity to get acquainted with the main specialties of the restaurant. Brand chef Denis Krupenya has developed a special menu consisting entirely of dishes with crab, and the sommelier has matched each of them with champagne. Let’s say the claws of a snow crab with a creamy mustard sauce are proposed to be supplemented with Bèrêche et Fils Réserve Bru, a choux pastry ring with crab, avocado and pistachios – Frerejean Frères Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, and crab with corn mousse and mango – with Fleury Notes Blanches Brut Nature 2014. “The brunch menu is based on pairing,” says Krupenya. “A perfect glass of champagne is offered for each of the 10 dishes from the special menu.”
Well, the Merchants and Oysters restaurant organizes oyster brunches on Sundays. Price – 1290 rubles. per person. “For brunch, we offer imperial oysters, which are usually sold for 120 rubles. apiece, – says the manager Sonya Mazetova. – Every Sunday we order 100–150 kg of oysters. Since we serve over 100 people per brunch, it turns out that each guest eats an average of two dozen. ”