In Saint Petersburg, a new kind of restaurant has opened up, and although it will likely never be considered mainstream, it nonetheless will never cease to be popular.
The new venue is managed by two men who fill three roles — authors of the concept, owners, and chefs Dmitry Blinov and Renat Malikov. Until recently, Dmitry was responsible for the menu at the restaurant Freeman's, and Renat worked at the Mayakovsky bar. Both left the ZL-group holding to create the Duo gastrobar, a place, in their own words, "with good and unsophisticated, but nonetheless imaginative cuisine."
Duo is located in a small space and can accommodate up to 25 guests. Owing to its lighting and lovely design, the room boasts quite a few attractive interior details. An open prep counter is located directly in the dining room. This is where Dmitry Blinov prepares salads and appetizers. This perfectly suits the main concept of the bar: to eliminate the distance between chefs and guests, offer original cuisine for a reasonable price, and invite genuine feedback from customers.
This kind of openness is the essence of the new venue. The restaurant’s chefs greet all guests, take orders and cook, and even serve prepared dishes and pour wine. There are a few waiters in the bar, but they mainly work on especially busy nights.
The menu takes up just a single page; on it, you will not find such commonplace dishes as chicken soup, sushi, or Caesar salad. Instead, only original, one-of-a-kind cuisine, affordable prices, and high quality beverages find their way onto the menu. In short, Duo offers delicious food and an interesting, pleasant dining experience; the only thing missing from this location is snobbery.
The gastrobar opened just over one month ago, but it has already become the hit of the season. Initially, the owners did not plan to automate the venue in the interest of keeping the atmosphere warm and personal. However, it quickly became clear that a reasonable amount of automation is acceptable and even desirable.
Dmitry Blinov, Duo gastrobar proprietor: "As chefs, we focused more on the cuisine and on bringing our idea to life. This is why we started without an automation system. But the first month of operation showed us that we needed to improve certain organisational aspects of our restaurant. Even small things, like giving the customers a beautifully designed bill, are also important. This is why we decided to install the Tillypad XL automation system. I think with time, we will implement more automation in our gastrobar, as Tillypad XL has so many useful and accessible features."