Russian Samovar & Tolstoy's Lounge

4.7
388 Reviews
$30 and under
Russian
There is only one way to describe it: Classic Russia in the heart of New York.
The history of Russian Samovar starts well before the restaurant itself. Originally Jilly's Canteen, and owned by a friend of Frank Sinatra, Jilly Rizzo, Samovar was the go-to hot spot for Sinatra and The Rat Pack.
In 1986, Roman Kaplan, founder of Russian Samovar acquired the property and was joined in 1987 by friends and business partners: Legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and Nobel Award Winning poet Joseph Brodsky. Baryshnikov's baby grand piano is still used daily by our performers and guests can still request the Brodsky table, where the legends used to sit and drink away the hours. Guests of private events also enjoy our private dining room, where Baryshnikov filmed Sex in the City.
​Samovar has remained a celebrity hangout over the years. We've been lucky enough to feature impromptu shows by Liza Minelli and rumor has it that Mel Brooks adapted The Producers to film while sitting at our bar.

Support Russian Samovar & Tolstoy's Lounge during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 388 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.8
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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vipmelissak
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Festive atmosphere, excellent food, attentive service, exquisite violin and piano music. Would definitely return!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing as always!!!! It’s my go to in NY. Took new friends out to it and they loved it as well. Service is always great and the food is top notch!

T
vipTourist
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing and Yulia was a delight as our server. We’ll definitely be back!

JB
JennyB
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite NYC places. Go and enjoy the wonderful food, service, old school cool ambiance, and terrific drinks.

HH
HeatherH
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such good rich food. Loved the potato dumplings. the infused vodka martinis are excellent.

A
Anne
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service I loved the music on Wednesday . Perfect for the room
So nice to have live music at dinner!

AP
AlisaP
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely amazing experience!!! A awesome place to party , drink , and dance !!

WD
WendyD
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed sharing some of our favorite Russian and Belarusian dishes with our granddaughter.

JR
JohnR
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Relatively quiet Russian restaurant on W. 52nd Street. We ordered the Chicken Kiev (of course), the Lamb Home Style and the Crispy Duck. All were very good. Service was friendly and attentive and the setting was comfortable but not lavish. It was a very nice dinner.

R
vipRunning
Las Vegas
48 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great russian food with live entertainment. The chicken kiev is exceptional

I
Irihs
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We absolutely loved this place. The band is amazing and there was a really fun atmosphere. The food was great, large portions, great service. We'll definitely be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience5

Service was disappointing, didn’t get the bread others were getting, when asked if we could sit at a more well-lit table were rudely told no despite many open tables due to reservations. However, as we left several tables were still open. I went to the restaurant to support it during these struggling times, but it seems prices are up while service is significantly down

MP
MarcP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Always a great restaurant. Food is always superb. Staff was even better than usual
this time. We will be back

D
Denise
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came here for a birthday dinner and had a great time! We loved our waitress (I believe her name was Alena), she gave great food and drink recommendations and always made sure we had what we needed. 10/10!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent atmosphere. Great food. Live music. Loved the vodka flight as well as the cocktail we ordered. Attentive staff. Not busy during weeknights. We had a good time and the host (Moon) is the best in NYC. Thank you!

D
Dawna
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this place. It is one of my go-tos for a nice, relaxing dinner. It has a very "dining in an old friends home" feeling. The food is always good, traditional Russian fare, great vodka choices and live, Russian music that is lovely but not overpowering. You never feel rushed, like they want to turn the table. Love it!

AI
AmandaI
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is absolutely an authentic Russian dining experience in the heart of Manhattan. Come prepared to spend, but the food, service, ambiance & entertainment are outstanding. I would skip dessert though. It was a bit pricey for what we got. There is live piano on most nights, & they infuse their own vodkas on site. The host, Moon, is friendly & fun & took care of us all night. Max makes amazing drinks!! My only complaint is there is a 4% service charge to pay with a credit card. Bring enough cash!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Host was amazing. The service impeccable. And atmosphere was splendid. Had a wonderful time . Will definitely be back

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the most authentic, delicious, amazing dining experiences I have had. Flights of vodka were to die for. Food was beyond amazing. Service was the best I have had in the city in a long time. A must eat destination. I will definitely be coming back over and over and over.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff catered to us and created an exquisite dining experience. Live piano music added to the vibe for a Sunday night we will never forget.

D
Daniel
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience5

The live music was so fun! We had a great time there

MB
MichelleB
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was excellent. The best part was the ambience and the personable service from Moon!

I was there in June and flew back to NYC one moth later just to experience this again.

Thank u all for such a great time last night. We will be back!

Michele

CC
vipCostaC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Where do I begin... I used to come before the pandemic and have my dinner and a drink at the bar and always enjoyed the place. This time I took my wife there , so we reserved a table.
The server went out of her way to ignore us, it was kind of ridiculous and upsetting at the same time.
My wife ordered siberian pelmeni, they came in a soup bowl, though were stuck together, which means they were not defrosted right before being boiled or they were not stirred.
I got shuba salad and chicken tabaca. I will not go on about the salad but what did amaze me was how awful the chicken was. You really can not get it wrong, usually it’s a hen done with garlic and fries. Well, my meal was drowning in fat. Look, I am Russian, I know it’s not the healthiest cuisine, but this was absolutely disgusting. I literally squeezed a piece of chicken to prove my point to my wife to have all the fat and oil drip out.
If you want Russian food and atmosphere, go to Mari Vanna. A consistently great experience. These guys... I don’t even understand how they are still in business.

RC
RaquelC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect setting for a birthday evening. Delicious food, drinks and great live music!

S
Sassyjayee
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience5

Excellent food and atmosphere. Service can be a little messy but still worth it

KM
KristieM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Six of us went here for dinner on my birthday, and everyone had a wonderful time. We had a long, relaxed meal of excellent food and drink. Our waiter was very attentive, and the live music made people get up and dance, which was very festive!

TS
TaraS
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great music and great food!

LA
LiamA
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Great infused vodka flights, homemade.

Fun music.

MM
MarcyM
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Samovar so much. Every time I go to New York City for one week and my timeshare I try to get three or four nights at Samovar. The entertainment is excellent the food is excellent and the people that serve you are wonderful. It's a total great experience. It's what makes New York City fantastic.

NS
NoahS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I hadn't been to Samovar in 20 years, and it still holds up. Amazing food and value and excellent service. Can't wait to return.

EJ
EthanJaq
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

First time I’ve been. Great environment and unique experience.

R
vipRobert
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for dinner with friends. We were seated close right next to the live pianist, who played a bunch of modern and classical music scores.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Dallas
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Food was absolutely incredible. Service was really great. It was just really really hot in there.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Entire experience was exceptionally good. I ordered the lamb and rice and olive leaves, the eggplant and caviar and the brand Ciano. My friend ordered a steak dish. The service was great, the drinks were excellent, and the food was delicious. We ended our meal with tea and Cappuccino.

AH
AlanH
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We had a good time at the restaurant, although my wife didn’t like the vinegrette . But the service was amazing.

R
vipRunning
Las Vegas
49 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Russian food and live entertainment. Just a great place to go

G
Guest
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Good atmosphere, live music, food is good too, but in Brooklyn russian food better

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I really enjoyed the evening and the ambiance of the restaurant. I took my boyfriend here who never had Russian food before and he really enjoyed it.

I’ve been to many Russian restaurants but this was definitely one of my top choices 🥰👍🏻.

Thank you for the excellent food!!!

R
vipRikki
New York Area
83 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The was as magnificent as always. And the live music tonight was wonderful!! BTW, the bartender made the best Manhattan I have ever had!!

R
Rubin
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and atmosphere! Definitely will be back!

FAQs

Russian Samovar & Tolstoy's Lounge offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (212) 757-0168.

Russian Samovar & Tolstoy's Lounge is rated 4.7 stars by 388 OpenTable diners.

Russian Samovar & Tolstoy's Lounge does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://squareup.com/gift/1PK3GP185FFDB/order.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.