Some dishes seem not to have any firmer tether to Russia than the restaurant's ersatz Chagall and Kandinsky paintings and golden firebirds have to conventional elegance. Other dishes blur the boundaries between Russia, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and even the Far East. - Frank Bruni
My sister was visiting me from out of town, so I decided to show her the infamous glass bear at this NYC â€œinstitution.â€ We'd asked her concierge to make a reservation for us on the second floor because that's where the glass bear is located and the RT confirmed that reservation, but when we arrived we were seated on the first floor and told that there was a private party on the second floor. Later (as in one hour later at 9:00 p.m.), we were the ONLY people left in the entire restaurant (which in my opinion speaks volumes about the RTâ€¦what sort of NYC restaurant has only two diners left at 9:00 p.m.) and it was obvious that there was NO party on the second floor, so I asked if they would please show us the glass bear (seriously, that is THE only reason I chose the RT). This time they said that the second floor was locked and that no one had the key and that we must have misunderstood earlier. No, actually they lied earlier and were now switching to another lie. I don't even think it's legal to lock an entire floor of a restaurant and not have access to a key...hello, fire hazard! So, the meal was mediocre at best, especially for a NYC â€œinstitutionâ€ and with â€œinstitutionâ€ prices to match. I know that the RT was once wonderful, but those days are long gone. From what I can tell, they are now solely reliant on tourists. Whatever their current customer base, the RT should be treating itâ€™s customers with friendliness and respect. Instead, the RT is taking reservations under false pretenses, lying to customers and serving mediocre meals. If you want a great night out at a NYC institutionâ€¦look elsewhere and definitely do not expect to see the RT bear no matter what the reservationist promises.