Testova tavern - a gourmet paradise

Old Moscow was famous for its taverns. According to statistics, which "knows everything", at the end of the nineteenth century, about 19, 000 people were employed in the tavern industry in Moscow. And the three most famous was the "Big Patrikeevsky tavern", which was located in the Okhotny Ryad in the house of the merchant Patrikeev. But, they called this institution more often by the name of its owner - "Testova Tavern".

Ivan Yakovlevich Testov was born in the Yaroslavl province in 1833, and at the age of 10 he went to work as a dishwasher in the Moscow tavern of Gurin. Here the boy went through a harsh school, but by the age of 18 he had already grown to the position of a sexual (waiter). And as a senior, he himself began to teach fellow Yaroslavl compatriots who came to Moscow to earn money.

But Ivan Testov had a dream - to open his own tavern. Even the new position of chief clerk could not keep him from Gurin. In 1968, Testov decided to rent a room from the millionaire Patrikeev, where he started his business. Soon he surpassed in popularity his former mentor Gurin, the dishes of the Russian cuisine of the Testov tavern became so popular in Moscow that it was often simply impossible to find an empty table. Even the employees went through a rigorous selection process.

Crayfish soup with pies, test piglets, kulebyaku stuffed in 12 tiers, botvinia with white fish - this is not a complete list of dishes that were offered here to Moscow gourmets. However, the fame of the institution soon went far beyond Moscow. According to the famous Moscow chronicler Vladimir Gilyarovsky, the provincial landowners who brought their children to Moscow at the end of the summer to study had a tradition - to dine at Testov's. There were also prominent officials from St. Petersburg and even the royal family when they arrived in Moscow. This gave Testov the right in 1878 to hang the inscription over the entrance: "Supplier of the highest court."

Fyodor Ivanovich Chaliapin was a big fan of test rastegaev. Nikolai Ivanovich Pastukhov, editor of the Moskovsky Listok newspaper, was also a regular visitor. It was in Testov's tavern that in 1883 he convinced the young writer Chekhov to collaborate with his publication, who himself became a frequent guest at Testov's.

Chekhov described Testov's tavern in his story "The Foolish Frenchman". The foreigner Purqua, in anticipation of the ordered breakfast, glanced at the neighbor who ordered five pancakes! However, the neighbor did not stop at this quick portion, and made a new order - fifteen more pancakes! The Frenchman decided that his neighbor had decided to commit suicide, and began to persuade him not to commit a rash act.

A special table at Testov's was intended for the millionaire Ivan Chizhov, a mighty old man of enormous stature. He came at a certain time, his dinner lasted two hours, the millionaire, between serving dishes, even managed to take a peaceful nap while sitting at the table. Chizhov, most often, ordered beluga, sturgeon, caviar, crayfish soup, villager, fried pig and, of course, Guryev porridge. As Chizhov liked to say, from Russian food "the belly does not hurt."

And on January 12, all inns and restaurants in Moscow were intended for teachers, graduates and students of Moscow University. It was on this day in 1755 that a decree was signed on the opening of the country's first university in Moscow. The same Chekhov was a student of the medical faculty. According to his recollections, everyone in the city drank that day, except for the Moscow River. The only thing that saved her was that she was freezing at that time.

A distinctive feature of taverns of that time - almost nowhere sex workers were paid salaries. They had to feed from tips, which were left by generous visitors or from the fact that they secretly entered an extra amount into the order. Testov became one of the first innkeepers to pay salaries. True, the requirements were also high.

And Ivan Yakovlevich Testov himself became a rather influential person in the city. In the seventies and eighties he was elected a vowel of the Moscow City Duma. In addition, he was a member of the Moscow City Tavern Deputation. In Moscow, he had his own house on Tikhvinskaya Street and a dacha in Sokolniki. Now in the capital, the Testovskaya railway platform and Testovskaya street in the Presnensky district remind of him. The famous gypsy choir lived there, performing in a tavern.

Ivan Yakovlevich Testov died in 1913 (according to other sources - in 1911). After his death, the heirs organized a trading house “Testova I.Ya. sons ". And the tavern itself became "Testov's Restaurant". At present, even the building has not survived from the legendary tavern. In October 1961, when the XXII Congress of the CPSU was held in Moscow, a grand opening of the monument to Karl Marx, made of a granite block weighing 160 tons, took place at this place. The ceremony was attended by the highest party leadership of the Soviet Union.