Taste of Art Deco

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The end of 2016 has been anything but kind. Or actually, it seems that the whole fire monkey year has been quite a challenge for a lot of people I know and for myself as well. Relationship troubles, job changes, health problems – you name it. Almost everyone I meet and talk to has something to add to the table. Not necessarily bad changes, but definitely requiring extra time and mental energy.

And like that wouldn’t be enough, also really talented, legendary people pass away, adding to the overall feeling of being down. I don’t even dare to think back too much, but already December has taken one of my absolute idols in the fashion world, Italian Vogue’s Franca Sozzani, and the musical genius George Michael from us.

And what do you do amidst of troubled waters? Well, I do two quite opposite things. Either running around, forcing myself to think only forward and to find the necessary energy and inspiration for improvements or for being there for a friend, who needs a comforting shoulder. Or, occasionally, taking refuge in books, walking and admiring some interesting exhibition or piece of architecture, trying out new recipes in the kitchen or having a culinary escape to some of the restaurants that somehow intrigue me.

Talking about the latter, one of my recent discoveries has been Hermitage, the restaurant of St. Petersbourg hotel. I had been there a few months before for a lookbook shooting for the couture fashion collection of Tiina Talumees and already then remained under the spell of the art deco atmosphere of that place.

As the name suggests, the cuisine offered has a clear Russian influence, though, with an international spirit. This time I was passing by for a quick drink and a small tasty bite in style, so I went for a special holiday offer for a perfect aperitif – a glass of ice cold Moët & Chandon Brut champagne and the selection of small exquisite appetizers, from home-made duck liver pâté to scallops and caramelized camembert. My personal favorite was the combination of sweet and gentle meat of scallops and accentuating champagne, but all was very pleasing to one’s taste buds and extremely well served.

Hermitage has been so far absent from my list of fine dining places to visit, but I’m happy to welcome it there, as I would certainly like to go back. It’s not your usual home restaurant or a place you probably go very often, but for a special fine dining experience in a luxurious art deco atmosphere it’s a very good choice. A bit mysterious. A place of other times.

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