Great Food, Service from the Carte Blanche Group
by Paul Miazga
After my recent trip to London, I find it easier to enjoy Kyiv restaurants that offer good service. I didn’t have any bad experiences in London, though I did find that in some places once I walked in the door the feeling I got was that I was just another tourist with money to spend, and the quicker I spent my money and left, the better. Not exactly what you want when out on a date – and only rarely these days do I find that kind of attitude in Kyiv.
On the subject of good date restaurants in Kyiv, often my friends and I let the discussion degenerate into a tell-all session where we berate one restaurant after another for every dining crime and heresy in the book: servers that take your drink away too quickly or who “seagull” around your table, looking for any excuse to return; wait staff who come to your table ready to take your order, only to have to run away for a pen and piece of paper to write the actual orders down; restaurants with point-of-sale systems where the servers refuse to split bills for diners who want to pay separately (despite having the ability to do so); wait staff who expect tips for poor service, and so on and so on. There’s much to complain about, but there are bright spots.
My friends and I continue to be impressed with the Carte Blanche group, which includes restaurants Concord, Marokana, Decadence House and Kureni. These restaurants feature trendy styling with a decidedly tranquil atmosphere, unmatched dining and thankfully great service – they remain some of the best romantic dinner date restaurants in the city. They’re not cheap places to eat, but neither are many restaurants in Kyiv where the food is often suspect and the service tends to either be rude or oppressive. I’m not sure how many times Concord has won awards as the best date restaurant in the city, but it has few peers in that regard, if any.
As a date restaurant, Concord has the advantage of its location, quietly occupying the 8th floor of the Kyiv-Donbass Business Center at Lva Tolstoho Square – there’s just no disturbing the relaxing mood created by in-house deejays spinning lounge music, the toned down colors and the subtle lighting. Concord strikes a balance between attractive and unobtrusive. Table settings aren’t cluttered as elsewhere in the city with determined advertising, and both the menu and wine list are deep and inviting without being overlong. And when it comes to the dining, which is the real reason for going there, the cuts of meat and fusion salads are some of the best in the city.
At Concord all major credit cards are accepted, but be sure to book a table in advance! Concord, Marokana and Decadence House typically require reservations given their perennial popularity. For more on that, see their listings in the handy Restaurants section of go2kiev.com.
Bright, spacious and even beautiful, Concord atop the Donbass Business Centre remains one of Kyiv’s best restaurants. (www.carteblanche.com.ua)