Russian Samovar & Tolstoy's Lounge

4.8
404 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 404 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.8
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and vodka

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun, energetic and unique An experience never to forget. The infused vodkas were a tasty, potent, start. Then the highly recommended caviar starter is to die for I promise. Favorites are the beef stroganoff and braised short ribs. Please finish with the honey layer cake; you won’t be disappointed. 5 stars across the board. The staff was personable, informative all the way from the history of the restaurant to the extraordinary, delish food experience journey AND the piano bar was the icing on the cake. Just make reservations and go. You’ll create amazing new memories

JB
JohnB
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal! My husband was thrilled! Every.single.thing was fantastic. Favorite was the mushroom in pastry appetizer & the avocado/shrimp/mango appetizer..& the tea with cherries, & the creme brûlée… Chicken Kiev was delish too

MB
MichaelB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to eat and to have fun! Excellent food, service, and entertainment.

EB
vipEdwardB
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fabulous food and atmosphere. Cannot wait to go back xxx

JF
vipJohnF
London
9 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a nice experience…great food, service no live piano,playing. It all makes for a special night out

WC
WhitCrawf
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Definitely a must if visiting NYC and looking for a good bite with great atmosphere. The staff were friendly and attentive, and the pianist really set the mood for a great time eating there. Will be back again next time for sure!

NM
NealM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

THE BEST Chicken Kiev I have ever had..
Very nice folks

LH
LynnH
Montana
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A fun place for drinks and dinner. The music was great.

q
quaxo1007
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for after Sunday matinee. Celebrating first post pandemic Broadway show and a birthday. Delicious Russian food.

R
Ruben
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excelente autentic Russian food ad services. Our waitress was super friendly and even helpful us with the food we didn't know about it. The music was a little bit too loud. But overall the restaurant is perfect

m
matthewp
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic experience with great performance - would recommend for sure!!!

JH
JohnH
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding atmosphere, great food and great service. A must visit when in NYC.

MS
vipMSUKGB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Could be the most fun place in NYC. Food was delicious, flavored vodkas are a must, service was on top of everything, but the musicians and party vibe make it one of those magical NYC experiences!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Food was great, as always. Been coming here for years, and always enjoyed the music in the past. But the band was deafeningly loud - consistently in excess of 90dB. Literally threatening hearing damage, never mind how difficult it was to have a conversation.

S
Sachmogoat
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great infused cocktails, perfect food like babushka made. Very friendly and generous staff

m
vipmelissak
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2021
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
11 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
50 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!

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 4.8 stars by 404 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.