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Restaurant Review March 23, 2007
Gentlemen's Food
By Mark Ames Browse author Email

I'm a GQ man. As more cultured readers know, I've had a regular column in the Russian edition of GQ for nearly three years now. I'm handsome, stylish, confident, and successful. Men want to be me, and women want to carry the weight of my burdens. My elitist contempt radiates across Eurasia from the magazine's glossy pages, but it's not the mean-spirited contempt you might find in the pages of this free rag rather, my GQ contempt says, "What can you do for me?" and "I'll give you ten seconds to wow me, starting five seconds ago."

So you can understand that I was not displeased when I heard that GQ had opened its own 24-hour elitist bar/restaurant, appropriately named GQ BAR. Finally, my own secure place to escape the noise and riff-raff.

I had the mud-caked Moskvich gypsy cab I rode in drop me off about two blocks away from GQ Bar, located a block from the Balchug Kempinski hotel. A GQ man should have a driver and a Lexus SUV. Unfortunately, my Lexus is still in the shop. At least, that's what I've been telling myself for about six years now, and will continue to tell myself and anyone else for the next six years.

If I was a plebian rather than a GQ man, I might have noticed the fine details about the restaurant's tasteful interior. As a GQ Man, I barreled past the door goons with contempt, and they reacted to my contempt as they always do: parting like the Red Sea.

Waiting for me at the far table on the room on the left was a group of international publishers from the world of glossy magazines. I can't tell you about the substance of our meeting you probably wouldn't understand it anyway, and besides, what can you do for us? but I will tell you that our waitress did not know the difference between whiskey and bourbon. When I asked for "Maker's Mark" she grimaced as if I'd just stuck my thumb into her ass. Poor peasant girl, I hope when they fire her, they let her down easy.

As for food, I have no fucking idea what we ate or what the prices were. They gave us chopsticks to eat European dishes like Lamb's Tongue (which I didn't touch), gnocchi with kidneys (tasted a bit Kal-Kan-ish), liver with mashed potatoes (m'm-m'm! I felt like a Senator!), another plate of thinly-sliced flesh with a demi-glace which no one bothered explaining, and finally a plate of dumplings that looked nice, but lacked substance. Sort of like me.

The international publishing titans paid for my meal, so I have no idea what it cost. And frankly I don't care. If you're a GQ Man, you don't bother with such silly trivialities. In fact, you don't bother even writing a review that offers relevant details to readers. If you want that kind of information, go read one of those plebian magazines like Afisha. But if you want to live vicariously through me and to envy me, then re-read this review. Either way, whatever you choose, I really couldn't care less. I'm too busy being great.

GQ Bar

Balchug Ul. 5


24 hours

Metro: Tretyakovskaya

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The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

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We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

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Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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