This conceptual gastrobar occupies one of the halls of the avant-garde Russian cuisine restaurant Molto Bueno, located on Ulitsa Zhukovskogo, the epicenter of Saint Petersburg’s gastronomic scene. It’s a tiny and cozy place, meant to sit no more that 16 people at a time. The Raw Materials Bar aims to create that perfect relationship between the taste of a cocktail and the food. Currently, the menu boasts of nine sets of pairings, each consisting of an original cocktail and an ingenious miniature hors d’oeuvre, such as Poires and a pear croquette. The Delice set, for example, is described on the menu as “nutty overtones with green banana and bitter wine, set off by sweet greens and grapefruit bitterness, supplemented by chicken skin toast, with cheese and nut aftertaste”. Each pairing will set you back approximately $13, which is a very fair deal, given the gastronomic experience it brings.
If all you are looking for is a quality drink, the bartenders got you covered as well. The cocktail recipes remain a guarded secret, so all you will get from the menu is a name that will keep you guessing up until the suspense gets resolved once you sip the cocktail you picked. But we will give you a hint, the cocktails are primarily based on fruit-based spirits such as armagnac, Peruvian pisco, and others from around the world. If you’re not up for experiments just yet, there are classic, but still intriguing cocktails for ≈$11.
The menu is minimalistic yet very sophisticated, with items like beef tartar with juniper oil (≈$7), and tempura peas with chickpeas and ginger sour cream mousse (≈$11), among others.
No reservations are accepted, and, in spite of the intimate spirit of this unique place, it’s not off-puttingly elitist.