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Diamond Dish: The Russian Tea Room

russian tea room

Diamond Designation: Three Diamond (Trendy food skillfully presented in a remarkable setting.) Learn more about AAA Diamonds.

Address: 150 West 57 Street, New York, N.Y.

Signature Dish: Beef Stroganoff

Get a taste for the high life at the Russian Tea Room. Known for its opulent modernist decor, it lends itself perfectly to date nights, celebratory dinners, pre- or post-theater dining and of course, afternoon tea.

Founded by former Russian Imperial Ballet members in 1927, the iconic main dining room is sure to impress. Over-the-top in the best way, its gold leaf ceilings are offset by deep green walls gilded with firebirds, a gallery of paintings, red leather banquettes and samovars (Russian tea urns). It’s exactly where you might picture yourself with a tier of petits fours and tea, or if you’re really feeling fancy, Champagne and caviar.

Beef stroganoff has been on almost every Tea Room menu over the years in various forms. Today, it is prepared with tender beef short ribs, slow-braised in red wine and herbs and served over noodles with a creamy black truffle and mushroom sauce.

russian tea room
(Photo: The Russian Tea Room)

While you’ll find the stroganoff offered among a selection of continental-Russian fare on the lunch and dinner menus, high tea is also offered daily, featuring a variety of sandwiches and blinis, scones and small cakes. Children’s, vegetarian and gluten-free tea options are also available. Other indulgences include a selection of dozens of vodkas; order a flight to sample several kinds.

Located right next door to Carnegie Hall, The Russian Tea Room has hosted countless actors, politicians and other celebrities and dignitaries over the years. It’s not hard to imagine the days when Salvador Dali would sweep through its doors and into a booth. Dustin Hoffman filmed a scene for the movie “Tootsie” here, and before she was a Material Girl, Madonna worked as a coat check.

The floors above the main dining room are home to lavish private event venues that anyone would be lucky to catch a glimpse of, like the second floor Bear Lounge, where the showpieces include a golden tree of illuminated Fabergé-inspired Venetian glass eggs and a 15-foot revolving bear-shaped aquarium.

Although you can certainly splurge here if you want, for New York City dining, it’s not as expensive as it looks. The pre- and post-theater menu will get you two courses for $45 per person.

For more AAA-approved signature dishes, visit AAA.com/DiamondDish


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