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Russian Samovar

Photograph: Phyllis B. Dooney
Midtown West
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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
Address: 256 W 52nd St
New York
10019
Cross street: between Broadway and Eighth Ave
Venue phone: 212-757-0168
Website: http://russiansamovar.com
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
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