FOOD&DRINK

“BJORN”:

It’s easy to be happy!

It may seem that it’s almost impossible to surprise Moscow with new delicious food. Over the past few years, a lot of excellent establishments where you can get a sumptuous meal have popped up all over the city. However, the recently-opened restaurant “Bjorn” (“Bear”) stands out even against the backdrop of such a booming culinary scene.

Stanislav Pesotsky, the head chef at “Bjorn,” jokingly calls himself “paranoid.” The truth is that he is a perfectionist who won’t do things by the book. In his hands, even a simple tomato turns into an elegant dish with many different flavors! “In my profession, there is no other way,” he says, “Unless you give one hundred percent and are passionate about what you do to the point of madness, you won’t get a single dish right.” This immediately brings to mind the legendary physicist and Nobel Prize laureate Niels Bohr, who once said: “Your idea is, of course, insane. The question is whether or not it’s crazy enough to be true.” The fact that Niels Bohr comes to mind is no accident: he is Danish and “Bjorn” is a restaurant that specializes in Nordic cuisine.

The fact that “Bjorn” is a Nordic restaurant becomes apparent the minute you step into the establishment, which is located in the beginning of Pyatnitskaya Street. Wood, stone, glass, wild flowers, dim lights, candles – all of these are typical elements of Scandinavian comfort. It is as if you’re suddenly in Copenhagen, Stockholm or Oslo! The impression is reinforced further because, according to the restaurant’s website, the waiters are “macho guys” who look like Vikings.

The restaurant’s interior is no cheap knock-off, but an incredibly appealing Nordic atmosphere created by the highly professional “Bjorn” team. The young people who work at the restaurant - waiters, designers, artists and chefs - aren’t imitating or copying anybody. They are guided by the Danish art of “hygge,” one of the key principles of which is to derive pleasure from the small things in life: a candle at the dinner table, pleasant music, leisurely conversation, a glass of wine, a cup of coffee with dessert, and delicious bread you break with your own hands.

The restaurant makes its own bread and has its own original tableware, as well as several original interior decoration items: “Bjorn” has its own ceramist and a woodworker!

Of course, every item on the menu, which is updated four times a year depending on the season, is also exclusive. Suffice it to say that each dish is based on an idea that is in one way or another connected to nature, specifically Nordic nature. For example, “Mussels in Sea Foam” is a title inspired by pictures of the North Sea, where powerful waves crash against the shore, forming a lot of sea foam. The dessert called “Beet Ice Cream on Chocolate Earth,” which looks like a beet field, is another example. There are other inventive titles on the menu as well: a Danish sandwich called “Wild Deer With Green Leaves,” a salad called “Cauliflower Clouds and Tree Fungus,” “Duck in Spruce Branches” and “Summer Rain in the Forest.”

Seems like inspiration is an absolutely crucial factor for the restaurant’s chef. So where does he get it? Everywhere. Recently, for example, Stanislav drew inspiration from Valdai, where he spent the holiday with his wife.

All of the products at “Bjorn” are domestic. This is why the restaurant was not affected by the economic sanctions that impacted the operations of a many other establishments in Moscow. “Bjorn” gets fish from Murmansk, meat from Bryansk, venison from Krasnodar, duck from Rostov and fruit/vegetables from outside of Moscow. The chef frequently picks mushrooms, berries and herbs in the forest himself, which gives his dishes an unforgettable flavor.

“We create our own recipes. We make dishes that require a lot of attention. Our kitchen is anything but a conveyor belt and I’m not interested on just putting anything on a plate,” Stanislav Pesotsky explains. This is undoubtedly true. His dishes are true works of art. When you look at them, you’re not quite sure what you should do - eat them or hang them up on your wall like a masterpiece!

 

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