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Oct 19, 2007 10:45 AM

Russian Vodka Room?

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

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  1. 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

      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. 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. 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. 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

            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. 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

              go to Pravda (lafayette and prince) instead

              1. re: jacques gaudet

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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.