moscow: björn restaurant opening

© björn / photography: jan coomans

these days, moscow's well-heeled may not be splurging as much on trophy fashion items and self-pamper trips abroad as they used to, they're still living the good life on home turf. and there's one industry that hugely benefits from this changing consumption pattern: the capital's hospitality scene. against all odds, new upscale bars and restaurants, often with a distinct design concept, continue to pop up all over town. a recent arrival onto the hospitality scene clearly shows the city has moved on from the heydays of ostentatious and garish venues, and instead understated design is becoming appreciated on a wider scale than ever before.

we're talking björn, a new gourmet eatery on moscow's rive droite which has not only adopted scandinavian cuisine, but also a clean and sobre aesthetic to match. the restaurant is divided into two separate rooms, respectively seating 60 and 30 guests, in a monochrome setting of soft grey and brown that features exposed brick walls and a series of pale timber surfaces. specific attention has been given to the furniture, which consists of one elongated wooden bench, paired with sturdy tables and differently designed wooden chairs imported from denmark, as are the rows of identical light fixtures by lightyears.

as said, the cuisine at björn is distinctly scandinavian, concocted by chef kasper gaard, a young and very able dane with a wealth of culinary knowledge under his belt both in denmark and abroad, and his colleague, chef herman medvedev. the two serve a variety of dishes, using meat, poultry and obviously fish, all with authentic flavours and using predominantly local produce and ingredients. so, whether you'll opt for the fillet of deer, baked mackerel or pancakes with homemade icecream, it'll timewarp you straight to the nordic homelands, if the setting hasn't pulled that off already. location: ulitsa pyatnitskaya 3 [zamoskvareche].

© björn / photography: jan coomans