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Illusive Russian Experience...

jnix Feb 7, 2007 12:50 PM

I have heard of this place in Midtown Manhattan called Russian Vodka Bar.

I am starting to think you need to be ex-KGB to get in as I can't seem to find any details about it other than a whisper here or there.

Has anyone had a good/bad experience here?

Is there any other authentic Russian places in Manhattan?

I really appreciate any help on this one.


  1. j
    jsgjewels Feb 7, 2007 01:19 PM

    That's pretty funny, it's not elusive at all. They have a website: www.russianvodkaroom.com
    Although the menus are outdated, traditional russian food doesn't evolve, only prices do. It's a fun time, gets really packed on weekends, the vodka is good, the food is decent. It's owned by the same people as The Samovar across the street, which is probably as authentic a russian culinary experience as you're going to get in manhattan.

    1. b
      belle Feb 7, 2007 01:21 PM

      I've been to both and like Russian Samovar better, all I need are the blini with smoked salmon and salmon roe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: belle
        jnix Feb 7, 2007 01:30 PM

        Great, thanks for your help. I was told the Russian Vodka Room was a different place to the Russian Vodka Bar, which was the source of my confusion.
        So perhaps there is no conspracy after all and both bars are one and the same.
        I'm sure by the time I finish sampling the Vodka menu I'll think I in the cremlin.
        I'll check out Samovar too, sounds wonderful.

      2. dkstar1 Feb 7, 2007 01:26 PM

        I'm certain you are referring to the Russian Vodka Room. It's on 52rd. at the corner of 8th Ave., on the same side of the street as Roseland Ballroom. There is a sign out front that says "Attitude Adjustment Hour". That's about it.

        It has a wide assortment of house-infused vodkas (the cranberry is good, avoid the garlic one like the plague) and some pretty tasty Russian dishes. Svetlana is your bartender - be nice to her. Tip the piano player - but not too much and avoid trying to talk to anyone sitting next to you at the bar. Don't even think about making extended eye contact with the "host".

        I've broken every one of these rules and in some cases its been okay (it was the strong as all hell martinis talking), other times not so much (being asked to leave by just a stare) and other times its resulted in hanging out with Russian escort madams at Au Bar until 4 in the morning. I'll leave out other incrimin, er, interesting details.

        Across the street is the far more mellow and better lit restaurant/bar, Russian Samovar.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dkstar1
          jnix Feb 7, 2007 01:56 PM

          Great, sound like just the right thing.
          thanks for the heads up on the garlic vodka. You must have had to tip the escort pretty big after a shot of that.

        2. b
          belle Feb 8, 2007 10:32 AM

          I like the horseradish vodka at samovar, but dont order that as the first shot.

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