The communist red booths of the iconic Russian Tea Room mostly remained empty late last week at 10am, save for a gaggle of middle-aged women celebrating a birthday with too many mimosas.
But why should there be crowds given that the restaurant just announced their breakfast menu, where as before, you could only get your fancy Russian lunch, tea, or dinner. Now, from 7 to 10am, indulge in caviar-laced eggs, caviar-topped pancakes, and caviar gracing smoked salmon.
No, this isn’t an economic meal, even if you skip the roe. For $12 you can get two eggs with potatoes and bacon, $14 buys you a veggie frittata, it’s $32 for their Royal Russian Breakfast, and for steak and eggs topped with foie gras potato hash, that will run your $42. Though the portions aren’t American-sized, they prove rich enough to line your winter belly with thick sauces, hearty meats, and hot pots of Kusmi or Harney and Sons tea.
With this addition of breakfast, now you can truly eat like a New York czar all day long.
While Mitt Romney is busy mind-bogglingly castigating Obama as a foreign policy lapdog of Putin, real Americans (er, okay, fashionable New Yorkers) will be getting down to some groovy Russian karaoke. Not so much kitsch as brilliantly cheeky, Jelsomino, located in the uptown Dream Hotel is the latest from the Ginza Project, those fabulous Russians who gave Gotham its most glamorous Russian restaurant ever in the form of Mari Vanna.
There’s a main stage, where tipsy exhibitionists will perform to an audience indulging in (what else?) champagne, caviar and oysters, a backstage room for those preferring a more predictable musical experience (a DJ will spin), and a VIP room styled as a recording studio, cleverly limiting one’s possibility for embarrassment to one’s inner circle. A fully postmodern meta experience, the staff are also likely to launch into performance. The interior, with its concrete floors and rough stone walls, is sort of sexy Warsaw-bomb-shelter-chic. Bond theme songs obligatory.