Taste of a Magazine: Condé Nast-themed Restaurants
Moscow's Vogue Café
Condé Nast is continuing to do odd food-related things with its magazines, following the Gourmet-as-iPad-app plan by making its rags available to license for themed restaurants in Asia, South America and the Middle East. It's a business practice the company has tried before with Vogue and GQ, which both have their own themed restaurants in Moscow. After the jump, we turn to those establishments--Vogue Café and GQ Bar--for some insight on the taste of a magazine.
Translated idiosyncratically from Russian, the Vogue Café is described as being "favorable for fashionable Moscow public. Everything is gathered here - gastronomic happiness, brightness of living, and inevitable of meeting anyone. Stars are shining to everybody and all the guests are the stars!" How this specifically evokes Vogue is unclear, but the promo shots of the interior do show that the décor features large format photographs of models rocking the requisite fierce poses on the wall.
There's no full menu on the website, but the bio of chef Yriy Rogkov boils down his culinary philosophy to one cryptic quote: "Gastronomic world should be verified, and guests should be always seduced by something new." So no word really on how the café deals with the irony of serving food--full of calories, fat, carbs--under photos of Vogue models likely Photoshopped to trim away another few inches off of their already skinny waists.
As for Moscow's other magazine-cum-restaurant, GQ Bar, the gentleman's quarterly aesthetic takes the form of a sprawling, nearly 5,000 square-foot bar and restaurant, complete with Karaoke bar and hookahs. The interior is said to be "created in a spirit of 50's of the last century," which must refer to mid-century Americana and not Soviet-era collectivism, gulags and the last years of Stalin's rule.
Chef Sergey Vekshin does seem to have some success in designing a menu analogous to the magazine, stating in his cuisine philosophy: "Italy is a country, where fashion is born, including culinary fashion. And especially Italian direction I'm planning to strengthen at the menu of the restaurant. We will pay the main attention to season dishes: truffles, artichokes, - every product has its own season, that is the time of harvest, the best taste quality..."
Fashion and food changing by the season, Italians dressing and eating well--we see where you're going with this, Sergey! Yet confusingly, classic Russian food features at GQ Bar too. Perhaps the fish soup from I Am Love is on the menu?
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