Emanuele Pollini is our Chef of the Year. We were literally bewitched by his cuisine: creative, risky, instinctive, authorial. The place is housed within the Lotte Hotel in Moscow, luxurious tones of other times, with the portrait of Cracco welcoming patrons inside. The most well-known Milanese adopted chef has relied on Emanuele’s talent for his Russian restaurant. And trust is highly repaid because the menu has a creative outlook and very high technical execution. Appetizers start with fried nettles and pork cracklings, then comes a warm vegetable extract to open up digestion and spike appetites. Here is a dish that made us prick up our ears: seared squid, lime, pak choi. Depth of flavours, complexity, the finish is very long, including a reduction of aromatic herbs. High risk factors and great success in the mixed, oysters and ‘nduja, tasty lasagna-filled tortelli. We warmly recommend the lamb chops, served in a saucepan together with tomato, capers and their congealed fat: sopping up sauce with bread is a must. Leave room for desserts, the chef’s penchant, to say the least his imaginative interpretation of tiramisu. Professional service and wine list well divided between Italy and France.