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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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The Russian Tea Room. Not good.

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My wife and I went for their Tea Service on a recent Sunday afternoon and were horrified.
First of all, it was expensive, but I can get past expensive if it's good.

We started with a glass of champagne each and sat in a very nice sort of love seat that is spacious and comfortable in the main floor dining room, which is very well maintained and preserved from the days of Warner LeRoy, the previous owner.
We were surrounded by groups of obnoxiously loud women presumably in the midst of throwing bachelorette parties or bridal showers for unimpressed younger table guests.

Our order was taken by a disheveled waitress with a heavy Queens/Brooklyn accent who spoke casually to a fault. I was expecting a more sophisticated serving method from "The Russian Tea Room", but that's fine.
Our tea was served promptly and was enjoyable.
At some point a waiter carrying a tray past our table was pushed off balance by a woman across from us as she exited her seat. The waiter fell full-body across our table spilling our champagne a bit as we scrambled to grab all our stuff.
No big deal but when the waiter got up he didn't even look at us to see if we were ok or at what he might have spilled. He just walked away. So did the woman.
Our tea sandwiches came within minutes and were a good-enough selection but were absolutely flavorless and served on stale bread.
We were dressed very well, it was my wife's birthday and we tried to make the best of it. We didn't want to complain but I did want to ask the waitress if she could bring us something more fresh from the kitchen so we stopped eating until she came back to the table. She never did. We never saw our waitress again that day. At some point a maitre'd asked us how we were doing and we said we'd been looking for our waitress and so he went to go find her.
That was the last we saw of the maitre'd that day.
Finally we ate our stale sandwiches out of sheer hunger, paid our $200+ check and cut our losses.
All in all, it was a mess. I'd call it a tourist trap but, although several patrons did, many of the people there did not strike me as tourists. Rather they just seemed like older obnoxious well-heeled locals who treated the RTR like their living room.

The RTR should have stayed closed and remained a fond NYC memory instead of reopening as the unforgivably substandard catering facility it is now.

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