Khudozhestvenny, a cinema that is more than a century old, reopened to the public in April 2021. The building has been restored and converted to a mixed-use space offering excursions, a library, coffee, and dining opportunities. One of the gastronomic highlights in the rejuvenated Khudozhestvenny is Niki, Moscow's first full-suite restaurant attached to a cinema.
The restaurant's name references the cinema's opening years during the reign of Emperor Nicholas II, who was nicknamed Niki by his spouse, Empress Alexandra. Niki's creators, the Lucky Group team of restaurateurs, have artfully combined history and modernity in the restaurant's interior décor: the ornamented Karelian birch ceiling harkens back to the pre-1917 past, the vintage vases and white tablecloths invoke the Soviet times, and the paintings by contemporary artist Valeria Popova on the walls add a contemporary touch.
The menu has turned out to be brief but rich in experiment. Niki is the place to sample such specialties as toast with slices of sea urchin and cured pork fat, halibut with celery cream and quail egg sauce, or dumplings with baked potatoes, sponge mushrooms, and truffle sauce. Niki offers traditional soup selections such as sterlet sturgeon oukha with black caviar and borscht. The bar menu is heavy on straight and infused vodkas and liqueurs. The non-alcoholic options include dark or white kvass, kisel, and piteya (a kind of berry infusion).
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