Considered one of the planet’s most dynamic capitals, Moscow has a hospitality scene to match, and it’s one that becomes even more sophisticated every season. The Russian capital is already home to a wide range of fine dining spots which exclusively cater to the well-heeled, but a new generation of restaurants and bars has emerged with an approach that’s more democratic, but just as high on style. In the latter category falls Wine Happens, a sleek new restaurant by hospitality entrepreneurs Timur Abuzyarov and Roman Vorotnikov. Occupying a 100 sqm. (1,076 sq.ft) ground floor unit of a modern building – mind you, it previously accommodated the duo’s Bao + Noodle eatery which moved to the Basmanniy area of town – in a leafy pocket of the city’s Presnenskiy neighbourhood. Local practice V12 Architects created a contemporary interior design, featuring an open kitchen along one side of the premises that allows guests to steal peeks at the kitchen staff’s action.
The area is demarcated by an elongated bar clad in marble and with brass detailing. Directly opposite, the dining area is situated which seats 48 guests, furnished with soft banquette benches and comfy chairs, and all against a backdrop of walls covered in reclaimed wood – on one side adorned by an artsy mosaic of mirrors – that was polished, tinted and treated with special solutions and wax. Interestingly, the purpose of a wooden layer was to lower the visual plane of the room and radically change the perception and feel of the space. Additional furnishings include eye-catching saucer-shaped light fixtures in shiny brass, and a floor-to-ceiling cabinet and wine rack rolled into one. Wine Happens presents a largely seafood-inspired menu of cosmopolitan snacks, salads and main dishes, but as its name already implies, there’s also a special focus on fine wines.