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Russian Vodka Room?

g
girlsgottaeat Oct 19, 2007 10:45 AM

anyone been here? i'm looking at it for a large party (about 55 people)... will they all fit? and is the food good?
cheers...

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  1. dkstar1 Oct 19, 2007 10:55 AM

    no. The Russian Vodka Room is a dark and moody vodka bar catering the Russian speaking crowd. I used to live across the street and would stop by once in awhile. I've eaten there a few times - always at the bar and usually before a concert at Roseland. That being said...its nothing to write home about and isn't appropriate (nor large enough I don't think) for 55 people.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dkstar1
      s
      sam1 Oct 19, 2007 11:56 AM

      i dont know about the place for a party but surprisingly i dont mind the spot. i never drink vodka but the ones i had were good, the food was good, and its definitely a different night out.

    2. foodmonk Oct 19, 2007 12:27 PM

      I think it's too small for 55 people ... I've been there, vodka packs a punch -- avoid the garlic vodka at ALL costs. Food was vaguely horrible, but that's not the point of it. Could be a fun place to go to start off a crazy, vodka-fueled evening of something or another. Not sure I would have a party there.

      1. r
        randymac88 Oct 19, 2007 12:29 PM

        I think that Russian Vodka Room is the Fraternity-party version of Russian Vodka. Across the street is Russian Samovar which is about a million times nicer, and the food is much better. We actually had a bachelor party there a couple years ago, and there was an awesome room upstairs that they let us rent out...they were extremely accomodating, included all-you-can-drink vodka for three hours (which they graciously extended for us because we all got there a bit late), and served us great dinner. I'm not sure if they can do 55, but can't hurt to ask.

        1. c
          carri Oct 19, 2007 01:18 PM

          You could probably fit them in the restaurant accross the street. The food is really good, but it is Russian. So if you don't like Russian quisine, it's not. The fused vodkas are pretty decent as well. I think it's a pretty fun spot and have been to a few parties there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carri
            j
            jsgjewels Oct 19, 2007 04:24 PM

            I think that both places are owned by the Russian Samovar people. And I actually found the food to be pretty decent for russian food in manhattan. The back room is probably good for 20-30, but I agree 55 would be too many for the space.

          2. c
            cimui Oct 19, 2007 08:52 PM

            If you rent out the entire space, 55 would fit, I think.

            I have to disagree with folks on the board who say Samovar is better. IMHO, Samovar is bland. Authentic, but bland. RVR has fantastic, authentic smoked fish and vegetarian "caviar." I haven't tried the larger plates.

            I like the decor at RVR better. Samovar reminds me of someone's grandma's living room. RVR is a dark, slightly frayed around the edges, real live bar.

            Infused vodkas are great. I happen to like the horseradish best, especially with food, but it's not for everyone. Raspberry is good for beginners.

            5 Replies
            1. re: cimui
              j
              jacques gaudet Oct 19, 2007 09:19 PM

              go to Pravda (lafayette and prince) instead

              1. re: jacques gaudet
                j
                jsgjewels Oct 22, 2007 10:43 AM

                don't go to pravda, it's total kitsch, there's nothing russian about it. RVR has a much more interesting atmosphere, and has at least semi-authentic food and good drinks.

                1. re: jsgjewels
                  g
                  girlcritic Oct 22, 2007 04:03 PM

                  Yeah, pravda isn't very authentic, more like a theme restaurant. I much prefer Russian Vodka Room to Samovar. Not big enough for a large party, but their vodka infusions are intensely good and the food is in my opinion better than Samovar's.

                  1. re: girlcritic
                    j
                    jacques gaudet Jan 27, 2008 08:09 PM

                    well, that depends on what you consider interesting. all my friends from san peterburg hate the russian vodka room and love pravda precisely because of the kitshy ambience. they think the forced russian speaking crowd at the RVR are posers. aside from that they definitely prefer Pravda's food to the food at RVR but above all they like the food at Russian Samovar.

                    1. re: jacques gaudet
                      t
                      Taksa Jun 11, 2009 04:18 AM

                      1. RVR was opened by some ex-employees from Samovar. The two place are definitely not owned by the same people.
                      2. RVR is not much of a space for a party, it's a small and dark bar with very mediocre food.
                      3. Samovar is larger, brighter and has a party room for about 50 people upstairs. The food is still so-so, bland is a good description, but it is definitely of better quality than RVR. It's not really about the food anyway.
                      4. Pravda was a hotspot for a short while in the 90s. It's still going, but it seems to attract more tourists nowadays. It's fun, but it really has very little to do with any kind of authenticity. It's also considerably more expensive than RVR and Samovar.

            2. r
              RussianGirl Jun 11, 2009 08:56 AM

              Hmmm.... not sure how I missed this post originally, but glad to see somebody has brought it back. I rarely declare myself as an expert in any matters, but given my handle, I feel the need to weigh in. Love it or hate it, RVR is unique - it is dark, moody, and the bartenders are not friendly to Americans, but if you want a true Russian experience, that's pretty spot-on. The drinks are good, strong, and cheap and the food is rather tasty - it's not my grandmother's cooking, but it is as close to authentic Russian as you will get in Manhattan (obviously, not including Brooklyn). That being said, if you don't like Russian food, you will not like the food. I agree that it may not be the place for a party. I have never been to Russian Samovar, so I cannot comment. I have to agree with Taksa re: Pravda - it was OK in the early 90s before they got a velvet rope (and an attitude to match), but these days, the food stinks, the drinks are way too expensive, and the crowd is awful - there are definitely Russians there, but (before you get all excited and think the place is authentic) they are what we call the "new Russians," which, suffice to say, are not the real thing :)

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