Red leather dining booths, opulent gold framed artwork and Faberge eggs make The Russian Tea Room a New York City experience not to be missed. Located next door to world-renowned Carnegie Hall, The Russian Tea Room has been an iconic landmark since opening its doors in 1927. It was founded by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet and known as a gathering place Russian expatriates.
Throughout the years some of Hollywood’s most famous celebrities have walked through the restaurant’s antique revolving door. Among some of its regular patrons have been Barbara Streisand, Victor Borge, Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft. The Russian Tea Room has also been depicted in many Hollywood films. Dustin Hoffman was seated in one of the booths while filming Tootsie, it was the inspiration for the Woody Allen film Manhattan and featured in When Harry Met Sally starring Meg Ryan.
What’s the best way to begin your Russian Tea Room Experience? How about with one of their signature vodka cocktails? The Moscow Mule is their recommended libation but there are many appropriately named cocktails to sample. There’s the Ivan The Terrible, it boasts “being terrible is good” or the Rasputin if you fancy Frangelico or try the From Russia With Love which blends Champagne, Godiva chocolate liquor and Chambord for an irresistible concoction.
The lunch menu is full of many Russian gastronomic delights. Among the many ethnic dishes offered are the Salmon and Shrimp Shashlik, a grilled salmon and shrimp served over faro salad or Boeuf à la Stroganoff, a red wine braised beef short ribs in a creamy mushroom and black truffle cream sauce. Another favoured dish is Kulebiaka, a salmon dish served with onions, mushrooms, and vegetables wrapped in pastry.
Afternoon Tea is a must-do at this iconic establishment. You can choose a simple Afternoon Tea or for those searching for something a bit more elegant there’s the Royal Afternoon Tea. A special Children’s Tea is offered with its own child-friendly menu and for folks with food allergies, there’s even a Gluten-free tea. The tea selection is an experience all its own. The menu includes a wide variety of Black Teas, Oolong Teas, Green Teas and White Teas. Among some of the recommended flavours are the Prince Vladimir, Russian Country, and St. Petersburg.
The dinner menu offers a variety of traditional Russian dishes such as Khinkali, Georgian dumplings of beef and lamb or Caviar Tasting of three buckwheat lines with boiled eggs onion, sour cream and topped with salmon, trout, and white fish roes.
The downstairs area is also a part of the Russian Tea Room experience. When guests are heading downstairs to the Loo they are greeting by an enchanting display of beautiful Russian treasures featuring everything from nesting dolls and Russian Santas to lacquered boxes beautifully hand painted. Don’t forget to peek into the cloakroom where Madonna worked before becoming famous.
Walking in the footsteps of Hollywood icons while being transported to another era makes the Russian Tea Room the perfect stop after a day a touring the city, Central Park or attending an event at Carnegie Hall on your New York City holiday.