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The Russian Tea Room

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

150 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019 40.764889 -73.978654
nr. Seventh Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-581-7100 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: Russian
  • Price Range: $$$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating: *

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating:

    6 out of 10

      |  

    16 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Kang Kim

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Official Website

russiantearoomnyc.com

Hours

Mon-Fri, 7am-11:30pm; Sat, 11am-11:30pm; Sun, 11am-11:30pm

Nearby Subway Stops

B, D, E at Seventh Ave.; N, Q, R at 57th St.-Seventh Ave.

Prices

$24-$48

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Brunch - Weekend
  • Classic NY
  • Lunch
  • Private Dining/Party Space
  • Special Occasion

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Recommended

Profile

You can restore all the trappings, but you can’t bring back splendor. Such is the case with the Russian Tea Room, renovated most recently in 2006 to a gleaming red, green, and gold. Antique-style samovars stand guard between plush leather banquettes, and staff silently glide across crimson carpet to deliver caviar and high tea towers to diners who speak in hushed whispers, as if not to disturb the tsar in the next room. Look closer, though, and you see the gilding peels off easily. The stack of tea sandwiches is spare, and the caviar’s nearly slap-dab. Servers can be chilly, even by Russian standards. And it’s hard to pretend you’re Russian royalty when spooning borscht from a chipped bowl with tarnished silver. That borscht, though, is lovely, so rich and full of umami it doesn’t need any sour cream. But other dishes suffer from an institutional quality, such as greasy beef and foie gras pelmeni and overly unctuous stroganoff. A better bet is the kulebyaka, a Russian classic of salmon and mushrooms wrapped in flaky pastry. The tourists and aging regulars don’t seem to mind playing parts in a show past its prime, but you might find yourself wishing a better legacy for the émigrés of the 1920s, who first gathered in the restaurant for warmth and camaraderie.

Weddings

Founded by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet in 1927, the Tea Room has three private rooms to choose from. Each holds 20 to 300 people and is exquisitely decked out in colored glass or intricate woodwork. Catering director Wendy Gordon oversees all the arrangements at this renovated historic midtown venue. Kitschy touches, like a bear-shaped aquarium and other ornate decorative elements, abound. Prices upon request.

Ideal Meal

Goat-cheese-and-mushroom blinchiki, beef stroganoff or pork tenderloin, cherry and cheese blintzes.

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