Going down into Reporter, you see photos and a plaque-filled hall of fame dedicated to journalists who have eaten there over the years, going back to the days before Perestroika. If their meals were anything like mine, I have to say that they made the right choice of eating venues, with Reporter serving up high-class Euro cuisine with a heavy French accent. The chef, Emanuele, is actually Italian, but his years of experience around continental kitchens ensure that diners are in store for the best of what he has learned and invented. The menus, from drinks to desserts, offer a huge variety of options, with some interestingly creative dishes, as well as more classical cuisine.
We started with Martini Bianco aperitifs ($5) and soaked up the mellow environment of the restaurant. The two adjoining halls are decorated in creamy yellow, with an old piano in the corner and stylish crockery laid out on the spacious tables. Romantic melodies and soothing jazz fill the air even more so on weekdays, when Reporter offers live music. Continuing my search for alcohol, I was tempted by the $5,000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Premier Grand Cru, but instead settled for a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau Malesan ($29), thus justifying the world stereotype of Englishmen and wine. However, I personally thought it went down well with the complimentary mushroom-filled rolls of ham and very fresh bread.
For starters, we were intrigued by the pumpkin and black caviar soup, but eventually split sea scallops ($13) and a delicious squid pyramid ($11) with medallions of potatoes. The scallops were brilliantly presented in a gorgeous creamy sauce with mushrooms, all served in a large shell on a bed of colored sea salt symbolizing sand and water. Moving on, the wife ate an excellent risotto with white mushrooms ($15), done in a demi-glace sauce with fresh asparagus on the side. I went for chicken rolls ($16), which were stuffed with spinach and pine nuts and placed on a pile of herb-packed mashed potatoes with a barely perceptible light crust. With the ingredients freshly imported from around the globe and the undoubted skill in the kitchen, all the food was a pleasure to eat.
To finish, the pineapple carpaccio caught the eye, but I settled for a beautifully light tiramisu ($6), while the spouse enjoyed a warm peach and apple strudel with cinnamon and walnuts ($11), with ice cream and a multi-colored vanilla sauce served in the shape of an apple. A coffee with whipped cream ($4) and an espresso ($3) put the seal on the meal. And what a lovely meal it was great service, a friendly chef who makes it his business to talk to the customers and great grub in a relaxed, romantic atmosphere. Reporter gives value for money when compared to restaurants of "similar" class. Perhaps subconsciously I'm angling for my photo on the wall, but I'll certainly be back without my pen and notepaper.