In the middle of summer, on the Lakhtinskaya street, in the very center of the Petrograd side, the Atelier tapas bar was launched. The Spanish-style establishment was opened by Mikhail Sokolov and Timur Dmitriev, the creators and main ideologists of the Italy Group holding, which is known for its network of good Italian restaurants Italy, beer establishments with Flemish cuisine and the flagship respectable restaurant Goose Goose. Opening the Atelier, the owners immediately announced that they were giving the institution wide autonomy (it was not in vain that the flag of Barcelona met visitors at the entrance), therefore they would not adhere to the established marketing strategies in it, but would engage in experiments.
The idea was definitely a success. “Atelier” turned out to be unlike any other institution of the team, it seriously changed the balance of power on the Petrograd side, absorbed half a dozen gastrotrends of recent years, and at the same time manages not to seem secondary. Life around talks about why Atelier is one of the most noteworthy projects this year.
Great terrace, hooligan interior and homely atmosphere
The first, due to which Atelier recommended this summer to each other, was not food or wine at all, but an ideal terrace located on a picturesque street a stone's throw from Bolshoi Prospect. With the advent of cold weather, the tables were removed, but the bar remains a decoration of the street - all this due to the red marquises, plants placed at the entrance, candlesticks and garlands stretched over the entrance from the simplest bulbs.
The design was done by professional designer Ksenia Smirnova (Tre Bicchieri, Big Wine Freaks, Una), thanks to her participation in the interior there was a variety of furniture, neon lettering "No bad days" and spectacular wall paintings, including a palm tree, which became a symbol of the establishment, and also a giant futuristic chandelier made of copper tubes and a cross-shaped common table replacing the bar counter.
The main element of the hall is the open kitchen, which is visible from almost anywhere. Chefs work behind a low counter decorated with awaiting ham hams, imperceptibly inspiring visitors with thoughts about home comfort and simple joys of life. So far, only Edward Muradyan in “EM” managed to successfully reconstruct the atmosphere of the living space in the restaurant. The absence of any boundaries between the waiters, cooks and visitors was further emphasized by the bar island with a coffee machine, located directly in the middle of the hall, and racks with dishes and glasses, also brought to the dining area.
New formats: siesta, gastronomic tour and brunch on Sundays
The idea of an almost family-run establishment is not limited to creating an atmosphere, but also affects the work schedule of the staff. Atelier, for example, practices siesta: from four to six in the evening they serve only drinks, the simplest snacks, and those who are late for lunch are offered a choice of two types of soup. It seems to be a trifle, but for the staff, such a respite is an excellent help, allowing you to calmly prepare for the evening influx of guests.
Here they also organize gastronomic tours of famous chefs. For visitors, this is an opportunity, without leaving St. Petersburg, to get acquainted with the cuisine of trendsetter restaurants, and for cooks it is a micro-training that allows you to learn and learn from experience. This fall, Atelier hosted special dinners of the important heroes of the Moscow gastronomic revolution, Vladimir Mukhin (White Rabbit) and Georgy Troyan (Northerners), as well as a collaborative dinner with Igor Zernov, co-owner of the most successful St. Petersburg bar El copitas. The most recent innovation was Sunday brunch, conceived as a kind of afternoon party with cava, a variety of snacks and DJ sets.
Inventive food, small portions and a conceptual wine list
According to the format of the Atelier menu, it subtly balances on the verge of a wine bar with appetizers and a modern gastro bistro. The choice is small but varied: there is a very traditional Spanish food - jamon (550-690 rubles), cheeses (280-350 rubles), padron peppers (190 rubles), corn soup (290 rubles) and black paella (450 rubles). And there are dishes invented by chef Ilya Burnasov specifically for the project, sometimes made according to Spanish patterns, and sometimes not. With rare exceptions, you can figure out the menu without the help of waiters: the name of the dish often fully describes its essence.
From a rather Spartan set of ingredients wandering from section to section, Burnasov manages to do completely dissimilar things, forcing individual products to either solo or fade into the background. Here is an example: oyster mushrooms in pinccho with beef - the main element of the dish, and in the spelled inferior leading positions to porcini mushrooms. Particularly noteworthy is the Crudo section with non-banal meat tartars (270-290 rubles), shrimp and dorado ceviche (290-320 rubles) and oysters (250 rubles). Most of the main dishes - eggplant with brie cheese, dorado with tomatoes and capers, scallop with beetroot cream, veal cheeks with zucchini - can be ordered in miniature tapas format (230-380 rubles), or a full portion (340-550 rubles) , which, however, also turns out to be quite small. An exception is a dry-ripening ribeye steak: it is served with the correct large piece of 800 grams (from 3 thousand rubles) and it is worth going for it on purpose.
The wine list is handled by Andrei Ermishkin, a native of Probka Family. Although he did not study for sommelier, he was an enthusiastic person, so the compilation he compiled turned out to be quite conceptual. Firstly, atelier offers exclusively Old World wine. About half of the positions are classic traditional varieties from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Italy and Spain. The second half is organic and biodynamics from small garage farms. Feel free to inquire about the wines of the waiters - they have something to tell about each. In the list of side-by-side positions - 10 wines (320-650 rubles), but about a dozen more varieties marked in the map with a special sign. If desired, they can also be opened and sold with a glass - the Atelier uses the Coravin system, so nothing will happen with wine for a long time. Separate emphasis is placed on cava - it is offered in six different types, there are simpler positions (from 290 rubles per glass, or 1,740 rubles per bottle), and there are expensive seasoned brands, such as Catalan biodynamic cava from a private garage (9,900 rubles), in its qualities not inferior to good champagne.
Co-owner of Atelier Tapas & Bar:
We have long looked at this room, we liked it very much. True, when it finally freed up and we came to see, it became clear that there was enough electricity for maximum light and ventilation. The only reasonable alternative was the Josper wood grill. Together with Ilya Burnasov we went to a factory located near Barcelona, talked with local chefs - they showed us how to work with him. Around the same time, the idea came to us to create a Spanish institution. We went to San Sebastian - the most important city of Spain from the gastronomic point of view - went around a bunch of places with pinchos, and I must say, the local food rather disappointed us. Pinchos and tapas are really cooked there on every corner, but, with rare exceptions, they are all terribly boring and tasteless - most often it’s just a piece of bread with jamon or sausage. Therefore, we decided for ourselves that we would do such gourmet pinchos.
Now I really want to teach guests to dine here. Many perceive Atelier exclusively as a gastronomic bar, where you should come in the evening. On the one hand, this is true, but at the same time we understand that we have really tasty dinners, really cool. I myself come here and get high because I can eat not just salad and pasta, but for the same money I can try four original dishes at once.
By the way, for some time now we have been making very cool brunches. Every Sunday at 12:30 we lower the blinds, a DJ plays here, the table is covered with cava, tacos, guacamole, pinchos, a variety of snacks. And you come here on Sunday afternoon and feel like you haven’t gone anywhere. This Sunday, for example, I went here with my dad on the way to sports. I ate it and I say this: “Listen, dad, maybe to hell with this sport, let's go in kava - and we won’t go anywhere.”
Ceviche from dorado with grapefruit - 280 rubles Octopus, potatoes, paprika cream - 580 rubles Scallop with beetroot cream - 450 rubles