Russian Samovar & Tolstoy's Lounge

4.5
275 reviews
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$30 and under
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Russian
There is only one way to describe it: Classic Russia in the heart of New York.
Russian staples & infused vodkas are served at this longtime eatery that hosts live piano music.
What 275 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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ZP
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place! It’s got the soul, the character, the music and of course the authentic Russian cuisine.
The food is fantastic and the service is outstanding. We keep coming back every chance we get.

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J
New York Area
70 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I happened on Russian Samovar because I was searching for a restaurant near W. 54th St. I was gobsmacked! I'd never heard of the restaurant, and -- after a wonderful experience there -- I found that none of my NYC theater-obsessed friends had heard of it either. How could this be? A HUGE menu of Russian specialties, including the familiar (chicken kiev, blini, Strogonoffs, borscht, pelmeni, etc.) and many many more dishes that I didn't know. My smoked salmon blini "appetizer," served with all the traditional garnishes and authentic (read, large and buttery) buckwheat blini, was enough to serve at least two, and was fabulous. There is a VERY long list of vodkas. The service is excellent, and there is a lovely pianist playing show tunes. HIGHLY recommended.

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SN
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 1

Very disappointed with food that was served. I ordered borsch: it was served warm, not hot. I ordered a salad Alivie: it was old, no taste at all. I know very well how this salad should taste. For the main course I had a duck which was over cooked and very dry. I will never go back there. Shame on the management and the cook!

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AB
Jacksonville
3 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Russian Samovar is our favorite New York Restuarant! The servers are wonderful, the food and vodka are amazing.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant right next to theatre. Shocked how good the food was and how reasonably priced for such good food and excellent location. Had 2 delicious Russian apps and 2 fabulous “regular” fish dishes. $32 for a fantastic whole Bronzino near the theatre district was a great find. Can’t wait to go back

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MO
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 2

The restaurant did not offer the menu advertised on Open Table. They did not offer the special Lunch Menu. As a result we had to select from the more expensive menu. Open Table has an obligation to deliver an accurate representation of the restaurant’s offering.

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KF
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food, great atmosphere and wonderfully friendly staff

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a great time. I am fond of Russian cuisine. The Siberian Pilmeni (dumplings in broth) were just fabulous. Had never had an infused Martini. Tried the raspberry and it was lovely, but not sweet. There was a jazz trio playing, which added wonderfully to the experience. Will always include dinner here every time I visit NYC.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We tried the Russian caviar, which is quite expensive but also a wonderful experience. We had the chicken Kiev and branzino and they were delicious. We love the piano performance.

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I
Los Angeles
26 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was good , the service was a bit slow. Overall , a lot of traditional RUSSIAN food and appetizers. We like the food !

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A
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

Still a nice place, ran down, overpriced, poor service. Food tasted good though, but i would expect much more for the price charged.

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s
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter was fantastic- music was great, vodka was strong and food delicious

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C
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and a lot of fun Staff was so good and meals were presented in an un rushed manner as requested. Really liked the lamb

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JB
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Ate here because it is close to Neil Simon theater. Don’t make this mistake.... stroganoff weak watery and disappointing.... but maybe that’s how they really eat in Russia!

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ML
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

If you ever had real Russian food, this restaurant is not great.

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JT
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my second visit to Russian Samovar, and on my must do list for my trip to New York. It did not disappoint. The food was every bit as good as I remembered.

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my wife’s birthday and we spent the weekend in New York.

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FB
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, atmosphere, service were all amazing. The meals made me nostalgic for my grandmother's authentic Russian meals. Staff was friendly, answering questions and happily taking a photo of and for us. Portions were a bit small for the price, but worth it in terms of taste. The music was beautiful, live piano and towards the end of our meal, a talented singer. Music was not too loud, not too soft. They provided a very happy Mother's Day! 10/10 would recommend!!

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KS
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

Everything was good but the service and noise level. There was an extremely long wait between the serving of our appetizers and main course. The piano playing was so loud that we had to yell to hear each other. We opted to get dessert and coffee elsewhere.

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CD
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 5

Lots of fun. Gorgeous interior, albeit a little elaborate and over-the-top but that's what you should go there expecting. Your fellow patrons are young and energetic, fun-loving, lots of Russians, lots of people just looking for fun and music.

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G
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambience with nostalgic music and the old days Eastern Europe food .

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A
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great pianist, the lady is a great talent!

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LW
Denver
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We especially loved the flight of infused vodkas. The blinis with the lovely black Russian caviar were so tender and delicious. Chicken Kiev and the duck were fantastic. Then we finished with the yummy sour cream cake. Throughout the meal we really enjoyed the lovely lady playing favorite tunes on the piano. Truly a meal to remember!

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G
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious. Hosted a friend of Russian heritage. He loved it. Also loved the jazz combos.

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Y
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was really excellent all around. We were there for a birthday and they dimmed the light, sang happy birthday with the piano 🎹 playing snd brought out a piece of cake with a candle

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h
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

A fee if the bill is paid by credit card.
Suggested tip calculated based on the amount including sales tax.
Really???

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YZ
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yes, I would highly recommend Russian Samovar to a friend. The only disappointment I had was the absence of any music on Saturday night (we stayed until 7 pm), even though the restaurant claims it has piano bar and live music especially on Saturdays.

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GB
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a really cool and authentic place. I believe it's best to go on a weekend when the main musicians are there. What a treat! A truly unique experience.

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SC
London
8 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great staff, food enjoyable, singer truly excellent. A fun evening in a half empty restaurant shows what a great place this is. Close to theatre land also

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SJ
South Dakota
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The atmosphere was fun, music was great. It was a little snug, but worked well. Very busy.

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D
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my first visit to this restaurant, but it will not be the last. The vodka was delicious- the appetizer of the fish plate and 3 cheese stuffed bread was superb and the main course of stuffed cabbage and a meat and vegetable stew in a bread crust was equally delicious. We could not finish our meal- and normally I am not one to take home leftovers- but I did here. I highly recommend this restaurant.

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J
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Delicious food, good music, good drinks. Recommended! We will definitely going there in the future.

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SS
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Moon took amazing care of me and my friend. The music was beautiful and we got up to dance, so taken by the song. Food is consistent and vodka offerings are abundant. And we we're there for 5 hours catching up and we're treated so we'll by all of the staff, never rushing us.

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ML
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Super fun vibe - very eclectic mix. And the food was great too👍🏼

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R
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Hadn't visited Russian Samovar in years.
Wonderful to revisit.
Really delicious food.
Ample portions.
Very comfortable atmosphere.
Have been back twice since my revisit.

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OJ
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food... So very tasty... Excellent service, Demetri, our server was over the top helpful. His recommendations were spot on. This was our second visit after a first great meal.... I never like to review.based on one experience..... The decor is totally Russian.... The piano music at dinner is enjoyable.... The tea is extra special..... Bottom line is the food was great at both visits. Lunch or dinner, if you’re in the area for a show or just looking for a good meal stop in for a very tasty surprise.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for Friday eve dinner. Has live music and fun atmosphere! Great food and drinks.

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R
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love eating here. Food great and authentic. Great service and live music. The flavored vodkas are delicious and the tea for desert outstanding

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OJ
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for a pre theater meal on a Thursday evening. We were amazed. Food was over the top tasty. Service was 5 star❗️ The decor was appropriate and very interesting. The Piano player was enjoyable, however a little loud. The restaurant wasn’t very busy and we don’t know why. Yes it was a Thursday and it was Raining outside. This restaurant should have been packed with diners❗️ Food was so good❗️Please order the pirogie appetizer $5 and don’t miss the Lamb Ribletts. Chicken Kiev was also a hit...... This restaurant should be very busy every night of the week..... The lounge was busy but people are missing out on a good meal behind the lounge. I’ll be back soon❗️You should be going soon too❗️ You won’t be disappointed.

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OT
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic and the service was wonderful.

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