Russian Samovar & Tolstoy's Lounge

4.6
456 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 456 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined 5 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

California relatives in to hit Broadway shows

V
vipValerie
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonderful choice we had made to eat at this restaurant! Not only was the food very good, the hostess was lovely, and we enjoyed great, traditional music from incredibly talented musicians. We truly look forward to returning! Thank you!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

In town to see Six for my daughter’s thirteenth birthday. This place made it special. She felt so sophisticated. She and my wife had the stroganoff, and I had the short ribs. We finished dinner off with apple strudel and espresso for dessert, and I also enjoyed a peppery chocolate martini that was unique and delicious. We will be back next time we are in NYC.

MM
vipMyMusings
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2022
Overall4food5service4ambience4

It's been years since I've been to the Russian Samovar and I definitely be back! The food was delicious and the cocktails divine. A couple of the waiters could have used a lesson on how to wear a mask, and the piano needs to be tuned, but we loved it!

RL
RichardL
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was very good. Fixe price menu was available but not offered. Found out after ordering. Thought a little overpriced but with Covid I expected a little higher pricing.

Staff was nice, friendly and informative.

S
Socrates
New York Area
65 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2022
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Happy that the staff were all masked, nice that the tables are well spaced and lucky that there were few patrons when we dined. We had the pelmeni and Chicken Kiev, the Salad Olivier and Porzharsky, sour cream cake for dessert. Laid back service but attentive. Happy to be back!

u
unhappy
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2022
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Really appalled. The staff were entirely concerned with each other and disinterested in customers. The food was poor - soup not hot enough, other food overly greasy.

ER
EddyR
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have the best time.
Beautiful music, very friendly staff.
Amazing food
Definitely coming back when we will be back to New York

TS
vipTerryS
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great vodka selection and fantastic favorite dishes.

ED
ElaineD
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience4

My husband and I were celebrating my birthday and the restaurant didn't do anything to make my birthday special.
Also the Russian borsch usually made with meet, but there was no meet in my bowl of borsch. The restaurant didn't have a desert menu. When we ordered dessert it was a $15 for each dessert and $5 for coffee. The same with drinks. We were told that they don't have a wine menu. The glass of wine was also $15. It may be an OK price for NYC, but it would be good to know in advance what you are ordering.
Food was very good, but the noise level was very high so we could barely hear each other and the piano playing. Also tables were too close to each other that didn't make us feel safe. The guest near our table was telling his friends that he forgot his vaccination card and the restaurant let him in anyway.

BH
BeatriceH
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience5

We loved our experience. The staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. The food was outstanding and interesting. The stroganoff appetizer, the Russian salads, Chicken Kiev and duck were marvelous. Very convenient to the Gershwin Theater. We will definitely go again.

B
Bruce0311
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Excellent food and very pleasant staff. A flight of flavored vodka shots is highly recommend.

Was glad to see them very busy but the usual excellent service suffered a little. Partly our fault for not reserving a earlier seating and having a 7:00 show time.

Our favorite restaurant when we come to NY City!

BR
BlueRose
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service, great atmosphere! One of my faves

SG
ScooterG
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

The food was very good, but the service was spotty. The first server that came to our table didn't even know the restaurant had a wine list. Perhaps he was in training. Eventually another server came to our table and he was very good. He immediately realized we were short one glass and utensils. The prior server never attempted to provide water, etc., just to take drink orders. Even though the second server was very good, service was slow. It appeared he may have been working the whole restaurant. Perhaps they were short staffed, or just an off night. We'll try again since the food was very good.

NY
NYCTEXAN
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Some of the best pelmeni this side of Moscow. Always order without broth and ask for sour cream I stead

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Nashville
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and food. I’ve never had a bad experience here and they continue to impress.

BC
BellaC
West Palm Beach
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

A great atmosphere for a small group. Very lively, good music, fun staff.

SR
SigalR
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Nice ambience with live music, the service was very slow and the food wasn't great...

JM
JohnM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We missed coming to the Samovar since the pandemic, and felt the staff was very attentive to making or return to dining out a safe and enjoyable experience.

NH
NancyH
Charlotte
11 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

The food was superb and the atmosphere was great. Service was slightly slow, but our server was very kind. We were headed to a show, so we had to cancel our martinis and pay. We would definitely visit again!

CM
CeciliaM
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Christmas season trip to NYC to go to theatre district and see a show! Dinner post show. Oozing with character! Live piano music! Cozy! Dumplings were excellent. Relaxed. Beef stroganoff was outstanding! Vodka infusions were diverse and delicious unique!

E
Eliza
St. Louis
26 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great drinks options and vodka flights. Food was also very good.

S
Skinnybiker
New England
12 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great place. Even though they were short staffed, service was great. Food was good to excellent. Spices were subtle and tasty. Flavored vodka was great- try the flight.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing !!!

Report
FL
FaithL
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress and the other staff were fabulous. It was our first visit so we had many questions as we have a celiac in our group - they were professional, helpful, and accurate in helping us find safe food. The drinks were marvelous, the food delicious, the ambiance fun and inviting. It was fun to experience new cuisine, as we don't have a Russian restaurant in our little town in Pennsylvania. Truly wonderful.

L
Lcmazzit
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Wonderful place - great atmosphere, drinks and food.
Would have given 5 stars but while still delicious, my husbands meal was cold and we did not have time to send it back to be re-heated. Regardless, will definitely go back next time we are in NY!

MR
MurrayRose
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Don’t waste your time with a reservation. Walked in on time- no one to speak to. Finally approached a staff member who said they were getting table ready. Never came back. Eat across the street at Russian Vodka Room/ great food and service!!

S
vipSparty
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A GREAT NYC EXPERIENCE !!

SE
vipSeasideEpicure
New York Area
42 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our 3rd time dining at the Russian Samovar was more than the charm ... Russian cuisine is difficult to find in NYC (unfortunately) but the Russian Samovar certainly fills the gap all on its own. We adore authentic Russian cuisine and the kitchen here is like dining on homemade dishes. The ambience is quaint and comfortable. If you are missing Russian home-cooking or would like to experience it, this is the place for you. I will return over and over again.

JW
vipJeffreyW
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Authentic Russian food with great value on vodka pricing. Try a flight of infused flavored vodkas - 6 shots for $26.

NT
NoaT
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had an amazing time! Musicians are OUTSTANDING, food is authentic and delicious, atmosphere is unique. 10/10

LU
LizUWS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and warm ambiance. Our waitress was terrific - very friendly, helpful and attentive. Loved the live piano music and even loved the accordion player who played traditional Russian melodies!

SE
SuzeE
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The piano player was fantastic. The food and drinks delicious. The speed of service was great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful place! Beautiful atmosphere! Excellent food!

TW
TomW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Excellent time. Sheffield was the perfect host for our meal!

JH
vipJenniferH
Fayetteville
13 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My daughter and I were running late and trying to get to our show on time, and the staff at Russian Samovar were very accommodating. They put our order in quickly and we were in and out of the restaurant in no time. Would love to go back and have a more leisurely meal, because everything we had was wonderful. Would definitely recommend!

JB
vipJBNewYork
London
7 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Great atmosphere, fine staff, and good food - time well-spent!

NY
NYFR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience4

The restaurant was out of the two main dishes we wanted (at 7:30pm) and prices are high. The food was tasty. The live music started only around 8:15 and was nice and not too loud (we sat far from the piano) but I expected better players (less wrong notes). The service was OK.

JA
JeremyA
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great staff and great food! Will def recommend to others

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great! Thank you

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 4.6 stars by 456 OpenTable diners.

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.