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Posted by Anonymous on 07/29/2007
I was delighted when this NYC legend reopened, and I vowed to try it out. The opportunity came when some friends visited from all over the country. What better place to have a reunion? We are all foodies, and the food did not disappoint, though the portions are definitely on the economical side. However, I agree with the comments others have made about the service. It's frankly sloppy. It feels like opening night. There are plenty of buspersons, and bread-bringers, and water-glass fillers. But try getting hold of your server! Our server, when he was there, was too chatty. The more he chatted, the more he got his facts wrong. He didn't know much about the food, and even less about the wine and the vodka. My advice? Try the Russian Tea Room for lunch. Same atmosphere, less financial damage. And don't bother with the caviar. The lesser options are served just as stylishly.
Posted by Anonymous on 07/01/2007
I took my 12 year old grandaughter to NYC to see the ABT production of Romeo and Juliet on 6/18/07. While in NYC, we decided to try lunch at the RTR. It was excellent, the hostess was most kind and welcoming. My grandaughter left her ring in the ladies room and they found it and held it for her. The waiter was a bit slow but otherwise it was a lovely experience. The food and wine were very good. Expensive? Yes, but hey, this is NYC and everything is expensive! This was one of many highlights of our visit.
Posted by foodler on 04/13/2007
When you walk into this restaurant, it may feel slightly like an acid trip; however, the happy halucinogenic is blunted by a rude restaurant manager. My family and I were enjoying our Easter breakfast on the first floor of the restaurant, when my mother asked if we were allowed to tour the other floors (there are 4) to see the attractions. The manager replied, "Yes, but you have to walk there, we're not going to bring them to you." Obviously. We were so taken aback! When you're in the fine dining business you should be humble and gracious, not belittle your patrons. Our server was nice and we asked him if the manager was always pompous to which he replied diplomatically, "he's new here." Hopefully he's not staying long.
Posted by doctorted on 01/30/2007
I have eaten at the RTR through its many incarnations over the years and decided to try it again for lunch. Atmosphere; Not much has changed. For now only the downstairs has opened. Spotlessly renovated to all its glory, I still find the room whimsical, luxurious and enchanting. It transports you to another time and place. Service: This is the odd part. For such a high end restaurant, the wait staff appears like its opening day. Very young and inexperienced. Our waiter was effecient and affable but appeared nervous and uncomfortable. Later we found out why after he told us it was his first day. Room at lunch was 2/3 empty. Are they having trouble attracting experienced staff? Food had great highs and mediocres. For appetizers my fiancee had a nice salad that came with a side of melba toasts with a strong tasty cheese. I had the house cured smoke salmon over potato galettes and quail egg sides. Salmon was a bit oily. Nice contrast of textures but nothing really remarkable either. We share the hor d'oeuvres plate which had more salmon. Nice selection with the apple smoked duck being the standout. For mains we had the beef stroganoff which was out of this world. The noodles were fresh and the beef you could cut with a fork. Dessert was huckleberry creme brulee with hungarian strudel crisp and dulce de leche; extraordinarily delicious. In summary, i think all the portions were very generous and the food could benefit from a bit more seasong. The chef seems very ambitious bit remains hit or miss. Lacks the consistency of lets say Jean-Georges or L'impero. Maybe its due to an identity crisis of trying to mix a russian influence into nouveau cuisine.
Posted by kathy on 01/24/2007
My girlfriends and I are experienced diners at fine restaurants. We love good food that fills our palate with wonderful flavors and don't mind paying good money for our epicurean pleasures. The wait staff was just ok. The food was tasty with busting flavors with all three bites. I ordered the Lobster that looked like a Crayfish. I had never seen a Lobster so small. Was this the baby? Then we ordered the Bruele for dessert. Well, Well, Well, could they have made it as large as a silver dollar instead of a quarter? We were shocked. Two hours later we were starving! The place is beautiful. They have a nice bar. But for the portions, not worth it.!
Posted by Andy on 01/07/2007
I had the pleasure of having dinner at the Russian Tea Room on Saturday 12/30/06 w/two great friends. It was a pleasure to see her again, but alas she is not the same. We had a 7:30 reservation, but arrived early and we were seated promtly. It took several minutes for the waiter to bring our menus, 2) and It took several more minutes for the wine steward to appear(his excuse, we were seated at the dividing line between the 2 stewards that worked that particular night) When a asst. waiter brought the bread tray to our table, we told him one of dinner party could not eat seeds, he promtly places bread with seeds on the his plate! I think could be related to the asst. waiters lack of understanding of english. While reviewing the menu's we had to ask the waiter for the listing of the beef stroganoff and chicken kiev. Both were listed on the back page of the menu in very, very very small print! The explanation was the chef wanted to get away from them. I have always viewed them as part of going to the RTR. This was interesting as the recent reviews of the RTR the reviewers have ordered the signature dishes. For our appetizers we had the borscht, which was fantastic. and for main courses the beef stroganoff, which was laso fantastic. I food was fantastic, but the meal was ruined by too much wait staff getting in the way of each other and no knowing the sections of the restaurant they are working. Maybe with time service will improve, but till then I will leave the RTR for the tourist for now.
Posted by UES Rev on 01/05/2007
I went here on a Wednesday night and got a table right away. I know food pretty well and my companions were very familiar with fine dining. We all agreed that the food was fantastic. The venison was almost fork tender and the flavors were imaginative and worked amazingly well together. None of us ordered the chicken Kiev. The food pays homage to Russian cuisine without being really Russian, something most diners will probably appreciate. While I have heard some diners complain that the portions were too small, I appreciated not walking out of there nauseous. It's not the Olive Garden; they don't equate quantity with quality. I was very satisfied with the portion size. As someone who is less familiar with front of house ettiquite, I thought the service was just on the poor side of acceptable. My companions, who know fine dining much better, were a bit appalled. Our sommelier mistakenly identified himself as our server, his regular job I guess. Our waiter asked if he could clear our plates, but wasn't ready to take them away. He poured my sister's tea into my aunt's glass. (they had different types of tea) The captain didn't know what kinds of cheeses were on the cheese platter. The coat check girl must have been napping in the back because it took someone quite a while to realize we were milling around in the entrance. Other minor infractions, but nothing that caused us any physical pain. So, if you want the kind of service that the prices should guarantee, you might be disappointed. If you are more interested in the food, you will walk away very satisfied.