Expeditsiya Brings
the Adventure to You
by Grace Watson
In Moscow, it can be easy to forget about how much more there is to this country than its two capital cities. Within the boundaries of MKAD, there's little indication of the vast terrain of extensive landscapes and wildlife shooting in all directions.

There is, however, Expeditsiya, a restaurant that brings northern Russia to the Kitai Gorod area. As the name suggests, it's inspired by its owners' travels throughout the country. The theme is reflected in the decor and menu, a largely surf and turf sampling of the abundant fruits of Russia's water and land.

Photos
by Viacheslav Vasilev & Maria Lipikhina
Our TMT Clubs group made its way to a large table, already outfitted with platters of cured fish and canoes of jewel-toned nastoika. We couldn't help but venture first downstairs to the gift shop, or pause to marvel at the kitschy dining room decor (it includes indoor trees; bears -- both plush and not --; and an elephant in the room: an actual helicopter parked against the back wall). The bathhouse, we set aside for next time. With all this packed inside, calling the place a restaurant is an oversimplification.
Expeditsiya invites the adventurous spirit in you to emerge, so conquer the menu accordingly. Divided mainly into meat and fish, there's ample choice either route you take. Our group began with Northern Boat (4,700 rub), a sampler of four types of cured, cold fish huddled around a mound of young potatoes. It was a safe enough start, and certainly tasty.
Then began the procession of dishes that better illustrate Expeditsiya's shtick, proving that food can also be a conversation starter. We oohed and aahed as blocks of ice were lowered onto the table, dressed with medallions and coils of raw, paper-thin fish. Named Polar Pontoon (5,740 rub), it's a Northern delicacy that's super fresh, served along with dipping sauces and, fittingly, a shot of vodka.

But it's not all cold in Siberia. Next came plush mutton pastries, grilled venison tongue with cowberry sauce, and far Eastern scallops. Just when the amount of food was getting overwhelming, mains came: hot plates of assorted (you guessed it) fish and meat.
The meal was punctuated with lots of liquor. Expeditsiya has a wide range of homemade bitter and berry nastoiki (390 rub each), and we tried 14 of them. Some went down easy; others provided a challenge. Much like with the food itself, the challenges were worth while.

At the height of it all, plates piled with muksun and elk, nastoika glasses nearing empty, we were serenaded by a lively trio playing traditional music. Expeditsiya has high aims for where it wants to take you, but we went with it.
Expedition Restaurant
+7 (495) 775-60-75
Pevcheskiy pereulok, 6
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сommunity@themoscowtimes.com