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Tonight when my husband announced that we were going to a theater and a special dinner I was extremely excited. We rarely get to spend so much time together, and special dinners at special restaurants always feel that much more precious.

A Fifteen-minute walk from the Red Square is Moscow's best-kept secret. This luxurious restaurant was originally a mansion during the 19th century. It's original layout consists of 3 main halls on 3 levels and project a 20th century atmosphere. Each level is uniquely named and was well preserved. The "Drugstore" room resembles an old drugstore of the 19th century with memorabilia such as pharmaceutical scales, measuring glasses, and volumetric flasks.  

The second level: "Library", my absolute favorite, with attributes such as telescopes, bookshelves with ancient woodcuts and old books, and soft live music makes your dining experience almost whimsical. The top level "Entresol" is the balcony of the "Library" room. It's a covered summer terrace situated on the roof of the restaurant.  Several other rooms such as the "Wine Shop" and "Fireplace" speak for themselves. This old treasure is named Café Pushkin after the Great Russian poet.

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Pushkin is practically a member of my family. I only have one uncle, but an uncle that takes the place of five. When I was a little girl he spend countless hours explaining math problems.  When I grew up he found subjects to share with me and educate me about, and as I've gotten older he played many more important roles in my life. Members of my family are convinced that I hold many of his character traits and that is why we share a certain bond.

My Uncle (left) & My Father, my roll models

My uncle Anatoly Berlin is not only a great uncle, but he is also a very talented poet. His poems touched many around him. He has translated most of the works of Pushkin and holds a special bond with the poet. Coincidently or not, Pushkin and my uncle share the same date of birth one hundred and forty years apart.

As my Russian began to deteriorate living in the US, so did my in depth understanding of my uncles poems. Being in this establishment made those "lost in translation," poems fill in the blanks and made me want to come home and re-read his poems.

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The atmosphere of this restaurant, its amazing interior, unique cuisine, and exquisite presentation of food takes your dining experience to a different level.

Another incredible novelty of this establishment is that all of the staff, from the doorman to the waiters, are extremely polite. Russians fail miserably in customer service.  They don't comprehend the idea of being attentive and gracious while serving others. I don't know who owns this restaurant, but I can only say that the owners have spent a significant amount of time training their staff and maintaining the level of service that is next to none in Moscow.

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With Pushkin casted portraits on the walls, and the face of the man I adore staring at me from across the table, this was definitely an evening to remember.



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