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Kroo Cafe: French Twist

Kroo Cafe // 27 Suvorovsky Prospekt // Tel. (906) 273 1111 // Open daily, 8.30 a.m. until midnight // Brunch for two without alcohol 1,200 rubles ($34.50)

Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • The more formal of the two dining rooms at Kroo Cafe.
    Photo: Kroo Cafe

Brunch in St. Petersburg falls between the nonexistent and the extravagant — between catch-as-catch-can and the full on splendor of hotel offerings like the champagne brunch at Grand Hotel Europe. A new cafe near Smolny, however, is set to change all that.

Kroo Cafe is owned by Francophile Violetta Kroo with a French expat chef in the kitchen, and offers weekend brunch from 8:30 a.m. until the respectable hour of 4 p.m — a godsend for those waking late on the weekend and in need of eggy sustenance.

Divided into two dining rooms separated by a display of baked goods, the cafe is decorated in calming blues and grays with a pop of color provided by red velvet covered banquettes in the more casual of the two rooms. Rustic yet sophisticated, the vibe is relaxed and welcoming.

The selection of brunch items on offer veers perilously close to the sweet end of the spectrum but there were enough savory items to keep us from turning to the full menu, which features French cuisine with a Russian twist and is available all day long.

Since the chef is French we decided to put his omelet- and quiche-making skills to the test with a feta and farmer’s sausage omelet (190 rubles, $5.46), and a quiche filled with salmon and spinach (190 rubles, $5.46). The diminutive quiche was first out of the kitchen and sat – as everything everywhere seems to do these days — perched atop a round, wooden cutting board covered in butcher’s paper. The tender flaky crust was held together with just enough custard to satisfy, although the portion size left a bit to be desired. A small accompanying dish of mustardy, herbed mayonnaise was a nice touch that added depth to what veered a bit too much toward the bland. The omelet was the platonic ideal of a dish that is, more often than not, served overcooked in most places. While the filling was also on the tame side, it was nonetheless a satisfying bite.

The croissants we had ordered at the start of the meal — one plain, one hazelnut filled — appeared as a separate course after the egg dishes despite our asking that they be delivered with our drinks. Served with a flourish atop an oval metal plate with a change of silverware we, of course, dug in with our hands. The sheen of butter left on our fingertips and the shards of flaky pastry scattered across our laps were the perfect testament to the chef’s mastery of this simple, yet miraculous invention. The slightly salty caramel and hazelnut praline that filled one of the croissants was so good we considered having a second.

We washed the meal down with a latte and a velvety smooth teacup half filled with hot chocolate (150 rubles, $4.31 each), which also arrived atop a sliver oval tray accompanied by a butter cookie and a shot of water. The presentation at Kroo Cafe veers towards the precious, but dispite the twee touches, a morning spent here was a gentle awakening after an indulgent night out that helped smooth the edges off the rest of the day.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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