Felch Food 4 Felch People
Imagine this: a svelte young man stands before you, naked from the waist down. You enter his willing anus, pumping away steadily until ejaculation has occurred. At which point, you apply your lips to the young man’s slightly bloodied bunghole and suck out the profane mixture of shit residue and spunk, savoring the unique taste as you swallow. Is this the kind of thing that arouses your dormant palette and stirs your epicurean imagination? If so, then boy do we have a restaurant for you!
The recently opened FELICITA (the name translates roughly as “Felch Food”)—located just down the Garden Ring from another Moscow culinary abomination, the “Chinese” restaurant in the Hotel Pekin—is probably the worst Italian restaurant I’ve ever seen (nor am I alone among the editorial staff here in reaching that conclusion). No fewer than two of the items we sampled merited a response of “tastes like ass”—I had some time ago declared a personal moratorium on the use of this rather extreme phrase, but in this dreadful case I’m afraid a one-time reprieve is warranted.
Judging by the restaurant’s performance on the few standard dishes we tried during our lunchtime visit, there is little point in going into the intricacies of Felicita’s menu. In any event, it’s almost identical to the menu at every other Italian place in town, with prices solidly in the mid-to-high range. One of the few out-of-the-ordinary dishes is a lobster carpaccio, but you’d have to be suffering from a degenerative brain disease even to consider trying that crap.
Here’s what we did dare to try: assorted greens with balsamic dressing (180R). Actually, this was the one fully edible dish of the day. The greens (including endive and arugula, among others) were nice and fresh, while the dressing didn’t totally suck. The portion was even fairly respectable for the price. It was all downhill from there, however. The Tuscan-style tomato soup (220R) provided the first indication that this would be a meal tasting very much like ass. It would be extremely generous to say that the soup tasted like a third-rate canned concoction heated on a stove top. In fact, however, it really tasted like it was made with a jar of those dubious Hungarian tomatoes, with the jar having been exposed to direct sunlight for significantly longer than a year. Like ass, in other words.
But it was with the pasta course that Felicita really came into its own. In my view, a simple spicy tomato arrabiatta sauce and pesto are the best options when you’re dealing with an untried establishment. If these get fucked up, then you know a place has some serious problems. Let’s start with the penne all’arrabiatta (220R): the sauce (of which there was far too much) was vaguely reminiscent of the aforementioned Tuscan soup (I’ll refrain from repeating exactly what it tasted like). The garlic was sliced far too thickly… oh, I could go on and on. To be fair, there was some flavor there—it just wasn’t exactly what you would call pleasant. This was not the case with the tagliatelle pesto (220R), which had no absolutely flavor to speak of. This is actually quite an accomplishment: basil is a particularly strong-tasting herb, and you really have to work to produce a leaky-vagina-textured pesto with no flavor at all. Somehow, Felicita managed to do just that. Waytago, guys.
There are other complaints, to be sure. The 60-ruble “focaccia” would be better described as thin-crust pizza bread topped with dried oregano sprinklings. Beverage extortion is in full effect, with 250 ml of mineral water going for a very steep 90 rubles. But by the time you get your check and realize you’ve also been charged 30 rubles for the pre-packaged breadsticks, this final offense seems more amusing than actionable.
Perhaps there are some diners to whom Felicita might appeal—those who are impressed by overly heavy metal chairs, a dungeon-like atmosphere with out-of-place imitation Roman friezes lining the walls, and bow-tied waiters who pretend to be homosexual. But those who can tell the difference between Italian food and the hole in their ass are advised to steer well clear.
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