We had a dinner with Carpetblogger in Cosmopolite, where the traffic noise on the street cobbles was a conversation stopper for sitting outside, which was a shame. This Belgian brasserie has acceptable but not wildly exciting food.
We had breakfast in the Kofe Haus cafe near the Opera, which was friendly though its pricing seemed odd. You could have a croissant, coffee and fresh orange juice as breakfast for 19 gryvnas or you could have fresh orange juice for the same price. When we came back for lunch, there was a very long wait for the menu, an even longer wait for some attention, and when we tried to order 3 salads, this definitely was a problem. The waitress returned to say there were only 2 salads left, or 1 toast. It was lunchtime in a popular place. What did they expect people to eat? We came to the conclusion that kievliany don't eat at lunchtime, just go to cafes to be seen, or to drink something.
In the end we went round the corner to Repriza where you can have a normal lunch, with normal service and normal prices. They also do a good imitation of a Viennese cafe with coffee and torte inside.
Another evening we spent in Pantagruel as we felt like pasta. We didn't book, so had to eat inside which meant we missed the view of the Golden Gate. Although the food was good, the atmosphere was spoilt by a booming Brit, a real Hurrah Henry, with horse laugh to match, telling the whole restaurant about his infidelities. In the middle, telling us all about how he had been found out on one occasion, he had the gall to say that he really admired his wife for still being hard-headed enough to calculate that she was better off with him than without him. Perhaps she also had something on the side while he was away gallivanting in Hungary and Kiev.
Our apartment was in the same street as Surpris, one of the most expensive restaurants in town. We sneaked a look at the menu to see if we were really missing anything but the thought of paying 500 gryvnia (100 USD) for a main course did not appeal. There seems to be a constant stream of customers leaving their black Hummers and mercs outside though.
On our last night we went back to the bistro in the Radisson, our favourite place so far. Our friendly waitress was so pleased to see us that we all got hugs. Truth to tell, the decor is bland international, and there is not a big choice on the menu, but there is a variety of expensive and cheap dishes. It really is good value for money, with really good French food. We were tempted by a new menu of icecreams but in the end settled for creme brulee again and weren't disappointed. There is nowhere to sit outside, (the only drawback we can think off) and it seems a well kept secret, since it was never very full on the occasions we have been there.