Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jun 26, 2010 12:10 PM

Potentially silly question about bars

Me again,

I hope this isn't a stupid question, but here goes.

When out for "nice" drinks in Manhattan (upscale bar or restaurant bar), is it customary to get a complimentary bowl of nuts or something of that ilk?

I ask because we are going to the Russian Tea Room (I know, I know, it's touristy and food is mediocre but I wanted to see it without having to actually eat there) for their vodka tasting happy hour and are wondering if we'll have order anything to combat the booze or not. (We'd rather have something small just to nibble as we imbibe, like the nuts - hence my question!)

I suppose I'm wondering this for all "nicer" bars (not pubs) as well. When we lived in Chicago it was not customary, so I wondered about NY.

Thanks for any help!

Russian Tea Room
150 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's definitely not customary. I'm not sure what the laws are.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bone Thug n Hominy

      Sounds like I may be in for a crap shoot then, eh?

    2. It's hit or miss. I know the bar at the Essex House puts out nuts, and at the Pierre you get a little tray of snacks. Temple Bar has popcorn. But Pegu and Painkiller give you nothing.

      5 Replies
      1. re: small h

        You know your bars! (That's a good thing, by the way...)

        Probably too much to ask if you know anything of RTR? Anyone, anyone? Bueller?

        1. re: shannongr

          I haven't been to the Russian Tea Room in 20ish years, so I can't help you there. But gutsofsteel is right - you can always order food if nothing appears magically before you.

          1. re: small h

            True, true.

            I was just trying to plan ahead a little - to get something small in our stomachs but not enough to detract from that evening's dinner.

            Thanks to all who answered.

        2. re: small h

          I'm not sure why everyone is making a huge deal about Painkiller not having food ... it's a BAR. Dutch Kills never had snacks or food - whats the big deal?

          Then again, I go to bars to DRINK not EAT. And, on occasion, I have gnawned on the pineapple my drinks at Painkiller came in!!!

          1. re: kariface

            While I'm flattered to be thought of as "everyone," I'm confused about your use of the phrase "a huge deal." The OP asked a question; I answered it as best I could. Bars can serve free snacks or not as they see fit, and it does no one any harm to know which do and which don't.

        3. When you go to the RTR, if they don't give snacks, and you want one, then order one. Problem solved.