Russian Samovar & Tolstoy's Lounge

4.7
433 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 433 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
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing !!!

Report
FL
FaithL
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
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
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
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 5 days ago
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
Sparty
New York Area
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A GREAT NYC EXPERIENCE !!

JW
vipJeffreyW
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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
vipJBLNewYork
London
4 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

K
Kathy
New England
26 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We had reservations for an early dinner. Was greeted warmly by the host and seated promptly. The restaurant was not very busy yet, so we were allowed to take our time and enjoy cocktails with our friends, without being rushed. The service was excellent and the cocktails and food superb. We all loved our food. By the time we left, the restaurant was very busy - almost every table filled.

VS
VeronikaS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved this restaurant, have been before and was happy this time too.

PR
PatriciaR
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent. Beef stroganoff and lamb chops were super choices. The infused vodkas that are available makes for many uniquely flavored drinks. We tried the plum vodka martini and a ginger vodka both were great.

RE
vipRachelE
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

wonderful food great service in the heart of Broadway

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing, comforting, and very filling! Entertainment was lots of fun. We were there during a late night birthday celebration for someone in the restaurant so got to experience the restaurant with all of the fun and dancing from that party. Service didn't suffer despite the crowd.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great Food and Drinks and oh so filling. Lively atmosphere, fun music, sufficient space between tables so felt safe.
Very active and crowded bar scene
Very accommodating service, a little slow at times though it very busy Saturday night. If you can wait, go 8:30 pm or later when crowd clears at bit

PL
PeggeannL
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was absolutely delicious. Service was impeccable from Julia and all staff. Ambiance is lovely. Piano player is a nice touch! Can't wait to go back.

E
Erfp79
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2021
Overall2food1service4ambience3

Dismal. This place used to be so much fun, and great food; one of our favorite places . We went there Sunday evening (Halloween), and the place was nearly empty: except for the piano player, only 2-3 other tables occupied. Maybe it was chef’s night off, but the food was reheated, and mediocre at best: My duck was overcooked, tough as hell and the skin soggy—seems like it had been cooked hours before. Served with only a giant mound of plain kasha, no other garnishes. My wife’s chicken Kiev was dry as well: not the usual squirt of butter when one first cuts in. The blini were thick and a bit limp: also likely reheated. I hope this was a one-time fail, but fear that under current management (Barishnikov is no longer an owner) it is sliding into mediocrity at best.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Mississippi
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A favorite when I visit NYC.

KB
KatherineB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Good food and drinks. Live piano added to the atmosphere.

BA
BarbaraA
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The borscht was very salty. The rest of the meal delicious. Unfortunately the cabbage rolls I ordered were not available.

JF
JudeF
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A beautiful, secluded, and enchanting atmosphere, with authentic Russian cuisine and the most wonderful company of musicians to be found in new York. There is an equal feeling of elevation, and of being right at home.

LA
LeilaniA
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely experience, go with friends. It is a place you want to share with others.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and vodka

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2021
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 on October 22, 2021
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
7 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

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 433 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.