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“Still does not disappoint”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Russian Samovar

Russian Samovar
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Ranked #1,722 of 13,559 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $28 - $39
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Drinks, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Midtown
Cross street: Broadwy & 8th
Transit: 50 St (A, C, E) 50 St (1, 2) 7 Av (B, D, E)
Description: Russian Samovar, a landmark restaurant in New York City with rich history, started operations in 1986, and later partnered with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Nobel Prize winning poet Joseph Brodski. We are proud to have won numerous Best of New York awards for our food and flavored vodkas. We support the art community by hosting poetry readings, art shows, and now theater productions. The space has a unique layout with private event space upstairs, which consists of a lounge area and bar, and a private dining room with a balcony. Downstairs is an open dining area and bar with an atmosphere celebrating our Russian heritage. The white piano centerpiece donated by Mr. Baryshnikov ties together our bar with our dining room, and is one of our sources of nightly live music - everything from classic piano scores to Russian / gyspy music on a weekends, as well as jazz on Sundays.
Level Contributor
360 reviews
272 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Still does not disappoint”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

Visited for dinner with my wife after a matinee show and again the place does not disappoint. Feels like being in Europe. The food was excellent once again and offers the chance to try new dishes instead the same old you get at most restaurants. The portions were again very large and the service while not in line with the best restaurants is still very good, friendly and attentive. The infused vodka shots are worth a try as well. This was a second visit and we will definitely return.

Visited April 2013
14 Thank Thomas K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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239 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
86 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Highly recommended”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2013

When I woke up that morning and watched TV, the first thing I came over was Sex and the City episode about Carries date with “Russian” in Russian Samovar in NY city. There were no doubts left about the dinner that evening.
We came there around 19 p.m. and there were only 3-4 tables having dinner. The waiter was very professional and polite and spoke both Russian and English – he switched easily between two languages (English for my husband and Russian for me) and explained everything about food.
They have a great choice of vodkas! You should definitely try some. In spite of not liking vodka much, I wanted to try some and really enjoyed it. We ordered salo (pork fat dish) which my husband liked a lot. I had a plate with 3 typical Russian salads – which I enjoyed. And pelmeni – very good as well. After 20 p.m. more people were coming and there is a nice atmosphere at this place. What we did not like was a music – I was expecting some Russian music but it was a bad try of some Italian songs. Anyway we did not have plans spending the whole night there and we enjoy our dinner. I would recommend this place for people who like Russian food or who want to try something new.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
15 Thank bigtraveler2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Russian - at its best ......”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

Following the family tradition for nearly 20 years, we visited Russian Samovar a few times during the Holiday week in December. Why do we go back every year?

Among the vast number of Russian restaurants in NYC, the Russian Samovar is inimitable. It paved the way to other Russian establishments in NYC, but its spirit and the nostalgic charm could never be duplicated. Established by Russian crème de la crème - Mikhail Baryshnikov, Iosef Brodsky and Roman Kaplan - the place harbored hundreds of Russian intellectuals and expatriates for over 25 years. The restaurant is so iconic, there is a book written about it!

History apart, in 2013 Russian Samovar endured to reflect what's uniquely Russian: flavored vodkas, blini with caviar and smoked salmon, teas served in a silver tea cup holders with berry jam (aka varenie), live music that leaves very few unscathed, hospitable waiters who are well-versed in Russian cuisine/culture and add to the enchanting and convivial atmosphere. TV stars, NYC socialites rub shoulders with families and couples as they unwind in the brightly decorated red room filled with antique samovars, one-of-a-kind paintings and autographed comics left behind by the loyal and appreciative customers.

Best time to visit is Fridays or Saturdays after 8 pm. Best shoes to wear are flats. Best way to indulge vodka is to pair it with marinated herring.

The rest is Priceless....

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
23 Thank Toma A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairborn, Ohio
Level Contributor
95 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Great place with a lively atmosphere!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2013

The atmosphere was very relaxing and enjoyable with an authentic Russian band playing. The service was great and the servers were warm and friendly. The food was delicious but expensive. The vodka was the best I've ever had. Great authentic Russian place to eat!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
16 Thank Lucas L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013

The food, the service and the atmosphere was excellent and authentic! Restaurant is good place to enjoy late night dinner, without any rush, and after that continue the night out..
I had blinis for the starter which was very tasty, and for the entry braised short ribs cooked in red wine..very good and I warmly recommend these both to everyone!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
17 Thank Finnish_girl_1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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