- Russian Tea Room
150 W. 57th St.; 212-581-7100
Thus far, the relaunching of the new Russian Tea Room has been a rocky affair. The prices are too high, the service is spotty, and the original chef, Gary Robins, recently up and quit in an embarrassingly public huff. Through all of this drama, however, one constant has remained. The caviar is pretty damn great. Slide into one of those beautifully archaic red leather banquettes, order a chilled vodka, and open the menu. You don’t have to indulge in the Iranian Special Reserve ($300 for 30 grams) or even the California Golden Osetra ($120 for 30 grams). We recommend the rainbow-trout caviar ($25 for 30 grams), the eggs of which are small, sweet, and pearly orange. They come to the table in the regal way caviar should—that is, on the back of a leaping silver sturgeon, with a flotilla of warm buckwheat blini, chopped eggs and onions, and a dollop of sour cream, all of them served, in the proper czarist manner, on silver trays.