One of the pizzas ordered for our table
One of the pizzas ordered for our table

Пицца экспресс/Pizza Express
Москва, Новокузнецкая, 40
Телефон: +7 (495) 951-22-88

Hours: 12:00-24:00 каждый день (Everyday)
Pricing ranges from $6 to $15 per item
www.pizzaexpress.ru.com

During my time in Moscow, I have tried to focus on staying away from restaurants that offer entrees I could easily be served in America. That being said, two completely different Russian friends of mine have taken me to this same American, pizzeria-style restaurant so I believe it is necessary to mention. Пицца экспресс (Pizza Express) is a mix of Italian and other Mediterranean cuisines and claims to offer international dishes created by skilled chefs. This urban pizzeria has multiple locations, but the one that we attended is located approximately half a block from Павелетская (Paveletskaya) metro station.

View of the restaurant from our table

View of the restaurant from our table

Walking up to Пицца экспресс, you are immediately greeted by a hostess who grabs the appropriate number of menus and, in the summertime, can lead you down a tent-covered deck towards an outdoor area. A large white canopy covers this outside seating area, which has room for parties of all sizes. In the middle is a round wooden bar directly underneath a golden chandelier, which serves as the main light for the restaurant. During the warmer months the majority of the seating for the restaurant lies outside under this big white canopy. It can sometimes get a little chilly, so the restaurant has multiple heaters placed beside the tables and the wait staff offers complimentary blankets. Hunter and I definitely felt the cold one night that we were at the restaurant and we took advantage of their blanket service for warmth. Inside there is a section for more formal parties as well as a bar area for those that wish to order a drink.

Hunter wrapped up in one of the complimentary blankets

Hunter wrapped up in one of the complimentary blankets

Ordering at Пицца экспресс is simple because each item has an English title and description listed alongside its Russian counterpart. Most of the wait staff speaks little to no English making this is a great restaurant to practice ordering in Russian if you are a little rusty or just learning. Personally, I enjoy the wait staff at Пицца экспресс because they have been very accommodating when we have larger groups of 8 to 10 people. I have found that my two favorite dishes served are the страчиателла суп (Strachiatella Soup – 170 rubles) and прошутто пицца (Prosciutto Pizza – 470 rubles).Страчиателла суп is a brothy, egg-drop style Roman soup with spinach and chicken meatballs. The прошутто пицца is exactly what it seems, pizza with prosciutto (a dried, savory Italian ham). In addition, прошутто пицца is covered with mozzarella cheese, a few sundried tomatoes and arugula to compliment. At the end of your meal, the wait staff brings fortune cookie with the check for each member of the group. The fortune cookies are in Russian, but are very entertaining to translate and take home as a souvenir.

For groups and faculty-led tours, Пицца экспресс would be a good place to comfortably seat parties of about 10 people or less. The restaurant has many different cuisines for everyone to enjoy and the wait staff are extremely helpful.

Meghan Kindy

Meghan Kindy

Meghan Kindy will be graduating in May of 2014 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both History and Biological Sciences from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. She is studying Russian as a Second Language at Moscow State University in Moscow with SRAS during the summer of 2013 and will return to Clemson University in the fall to continue her Russian language studies at home. Directly after graduation, Meghan plans on returning to Russia to further her Russian language skills and, after a year or so of rest from college, go on to attend medical school in the United States!

Meghan attended Russian as a Second Language
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