Cherry Jam Afternoons in Cafe Mart

Some places you just find yourself coming back to…

Cafe Mart (25 Petrovka, Metro Chekovskaya) is like that for me. I was originally introduced to the place by one of my English students, a twenty-something store front designer named Marina. And so, in the autumn, I found myself here weekly, drinking black tea, eating cherry jam (the best I’ve ever had in my life!), and acting out all the theoretical worst case scenarios that could occur in a London airport.

Chinese red tea

It didn’t help that my workplace was literally a five minute walk away, which made it the sort of place where I would often stop by to do after-work-work– read: procrastinate on Facebook–while sampling all the different forms of caffeine on the menu.

Asparagus with parma ham and polenta in a mousseline sauce (My pick for best appetizer)

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art is literally right next door too. Actually, I believe they’re in some way connected because the elevator in the museum takes you directly to Cafe Mart, sort of like how elevators open right into penthouse apartments.

Chakhokhbili (чахахохбили), a Georgian chicken dish with hot peppers, onion, and herbs

I’ve taken a few friends here as well. Word of warning: check to make sure the place isn’t booked out for the day. I had an awkward scenario where I sat in the cafe for twenty minutes waiting to be served before a waiter told me they were closed for business. It’s pretty popular for birthdays, apparently. Lots of little kids running around with balloons and the like.

Salad with chevre, grapes, nuts, and honey sauce

And they have a very quirky bookstore out front. You can flip through overpriced coffee table books while you’re waiting for someone. Always a perk.

Almond cake with pear, caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream (ORDER THIS)

This Sunday, I went here for what might be my last time in a while with a good friend. While we were there, an Italian family asked us why Easter was called Easter in English and not some variation of pascale/paskha/pascha like in every language. This I do not know the answer to. But you get a feeling for the sort of place it is by the people who go there.

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