Let us first introduce ourselves. My name is Ivan Dubkov. Together with Evgeny Shchur we are Tolstoy food team.
In a past few years we have created menus for the trendiest restaurants in Moscow (Richter, KM20), and switched them to vegetarian concepts. We have been very excited to work on the Tolstoy concept and to bring our food to Vienna.
While working on the Tolstoy menu we kept in mind two main things: the traditions of the past and the technologies of the future. On the one hand, we are reviving forgotten culinary traditions using such grains like spelt, barley and rye, buckwheat. On the other hand, we are keeping up with the times using modern techniques, products, and the serving format.
So, what are we going to serve at Tolstoy?
First and foremost, we strive to serve to our guests delicious and healthy plant-based foods.
Whole unrefined grains are the basis of our dishes. We are especially in love with buckwheat. It has great taste and exceptional nutritional value, which is considerably higher than that of many other grains (e.g. buckwheat contains 13.3 grams of protein for 100 grams of weight, its protein also of a very high quality due to the buckwheat’s well-balanced amino acid profile). There are so many things we can do with buckwheat: roasted and green buckwheat, soba noodles, buckwheat popcorn and even buckwheat tea! In our main dishes, we put fried or steamed buckwheat, and for salads, we sprout green buckwheat to increase the amount of vitamins. We also use other non-mainstream grains like spelt, barley and rye.
Vegetables are the core of the Russian traditional cuisine and modern healthy diets regiments. In our menu we rely a lot on root vegetables: turnips, pumpkins, Jerusalem artichokes – they all constitute part of the Eastern European traditional diet. But Tolstoy's menu will also have a lot of trendy products: mango, sweet potatoes, wood ear mushrooms, etc. They will be accompanied by Tolstoy own sauces and mixes of nuts and seeds.
Here is one of our flagships – modern plant-based pizza in a roman style. We use a hundred-year-old sourdough starter in addition to wheat and buckwheat flour and let it rise for three days. As a result, we are getting a dough, which is especially airy but at the same time very crusty – as delicious as it can get! This is our proprietary development created together with our Italian partners – and we cannot wait to serve it to our Viennese customers.
The base for our desserts are berries, which are abundant in Russian forests. We use different types of flour, such as bird cherry or hemp and make creams using cane or coconut sugar.
That would be it, – you will know more once you come by and try :)
Just a final thought: what we are trying to build here is not just a restaurant or a business. Delicious healthy plant-based foods are our life.
We want to persuade those who are not yet persuaded: plant-based foods are the only foods you need. As Leo Tolstoy would put it, it’s about time to stop eating animals, and to discover truly delicious cuisine.
See you in Vienna soon!