Issue #22/103, November 9 - 23, 2000   smlogo.gif


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Moscow babylon
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By Fran Moskowitz
I was starving my brains out the other night. I just moved to Moscow three weeks ago with my lifemate, Diane. We love to eat a good meal. Heck, we just love to eat, period! It’s not easy to do that here in Moscow, especially when you consider the prices and options. Vegetarian food? Forget it. Weegan? Yeah, right. I’ve been forced to revert to my animal-carnivore primal state just to survive here. Diane is finding it even more difficult than me. She likes to watch her weight, which is something I tease her about all the time.

I was surprised that a blatantly misogynist newspaper like the eXile would offer me, a veteran activist in gay and lesbian causes, the chance to write for them. Frankly, I don’t really care what breeders think about anything, just so long as they don’t step on mine or Diane’s toes. I am a firm believer in tolerance, and that includes tolerating views which I might find despicable. For, as one famous lesbian said, “I may not agree with you, but I am willing to die defending your right to express your views.”

Okay, let’s get the show on the road. My first restaurant review assignment for the eXile was KATiK. As I understand it, Katik means “little cat” or “pussy”, which is fine by me. I love cats. I have two cats of my own, Willie and Punkin’ (shown here in my picture). They are just like my own kids, and I love them to death.

KATiK is located just off the Garden Ring road near Mayakovskaya Square, in a well-furnished, upscale-casual setup that reminds me of The Water Slide, my favorite lesbian bar/restaurant in Denver. My editor tells me that KATiK used to be a “dorkadent” club called Bulgakov, a writer whose clear anti-feline bias has always chapped my flaps. In a fitting irony and a victory for felines, Bulgakov has had to cede to KATiK, which aims to attract actors and actresses from the theater and film world. That would be fine for Diane and me, since it is no small secret that most theater and film stars are homosexual in orientation.

Two things I’d like to say right off the bat about KATiK. First, the prices are VERY reasonable. Secondly, they give it 110%, even if they come up a bit short.

The salad and starters section is easily the largest part of the menu, consisting of Russian and European offerings. Diane chose the Greek salad (115R), a good-sized plate lovingly adorned with canned olives, feta cheese, and the rest, while I ordered the Duck Breast salad (280R), an excellent deal considering that the duck was warm, moist and tender, cooked exactly right, and the leafy greens were fresh and delish. My only objection would be that there were too many seeded grapes in the darn thing. I thought Diane should have ordered one of the Caesar salads (140R for the chicken, 220R for the tiger prawns), and we even had a minor fight about it.

Next up were the soups. I didn’t want to stuff my face, but Diane ordered the Cream of Asparagus (210), which was super creamy indeed. And green. Diane enjoyed it, using the sliced bread to soak up every bit. I think she should have ordered the Borsch (75R) since we are in Russia, but she was so consumed with the asparagus soup that I decided not to yell at her.

Next we had our main courses. Diane went with the Grilled Salmon (230R), which she described as being of good quality but being too salty. We divas don’t like our fish salty! The dill sauce took the edge off that, and her luscious mediterranean rice (50R) made for a good garnish. Other fish dishes include trout and sturgeon, all reasonably priced. I passed over several lamb dishes and an assorted meat grill (250R) for the Chicken Breast stuffed with crab meat in estragon sauce (260R) or what I like to call “Estrogen sauce”. Hee-hee. The chicken was sliced and tender, but the sauce was a little too rich. I should have gone with the Duck in Madera Sauce (260R) and since I’ll definitely come back with Diane to look for friendly actresses, I know what I’m going to try next.

The service was friendly and attentive, there was no obnoxious music, and there were no obnoxious clients. All in all, a place where an unabashed lesbian couple like Diane and me can go and eat in enjoyment.

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