Go to Russian Samovar on a night when there’s a performance going on—upstairs, there’s a fine reading series. The samovar-shaped lamps have gold mesh shades that grow more gorgeous as you down shots of the house-infused vodkas. But if the upstairs seems like czarist Russia (circa 1860), then the lower level must be Soviet Russia (circa 1960). A mix of less-than-thrilling smoked fish, herring, caviar and blini didn’t warrant the majestic $75 price, and only chopped dill lent the chicken soup any flavor. Stick with sweets—like the Kiev cake and Natasha’s apple pie, accompanied by beautifully served tea and cherry preserves.
|Venue name:||Russian Samovar|
256 W 52nd St
|Cross street:||between Broadway and Eighth Ave|
|Opening hours:||Mon 5–11pm; Sun, Tue, Wed noon–12:30am; Thu–Sat noon–1:30am|
|Transport:||Subway: C, E, 1 to 50th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $25. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|