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« Thursday, August 12th, 2010—Bar 214 | Main | Tuesday, August 10th, 2010—Bar 212 »

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010—Bar 213

Day 213—Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
Russian Vodka Room

Okay, first off, daily commentator, artist and writer, Jaws sent in a picture of himself wearing the 365 shirt with the red logo designed by “Boris.” Check out Jaws below:

What a handsome devil! In addition to being an artist (he did the graphics on the photo he sent in), Jaws is also a writer and has published three books. Two of them are tales from his cab driving days and when he toiled in customer service. The third is a collection of his graphics and drawings. It’s hilarious stuff and I highly recommend all three. You can check them out right here: Jaws the Cabbie.

If you’d like to check out the 365 Bar Shop and check out the custom design t-shirts and merchandise it’s as easy as clicking here: 365 Bar Shop. Our resident artist, “Boris” set the whole thing up and maintains it. “Boris” is also available for freelance artwork, so if you’d like your website spruced up, if you need a logo, CD or book cover or just about anything, “Boris” is your go-to guy. Just send me an email and I’ll forward it along.

There’s a couple more bonus photos, down under the main post and once again, down under is a fitting place for them because they more Australian photos. 365 commentator Tim Clack took a couple photos of the oldest brewery in Sydney. Check them out, they’re down under the review and a couple of great shots. Thanks for sending them in, Tim, mate!

Okay, tonight while Googling around I found what appears to be a very cool bar.
It’s a place in midtown called the Russian Vodka Room and it’s bound to be a dark bar, because there’s no windows in the joint. But there is an in-house piano player and I bet there’s no TV’s anywhere. Let’s go see if my hunch is correct.

Here we are at the window-less bar. I love it already.

It's perfect inside, a nice dark and friendly vibe. And there's a seat at the bar.

And the beautiful bartender, Irina serves up a 2 ounce shot of pineapple infused vodka.

Budem zdorovy!

Azfar was seated next to me. He's a nice guy and was in town on business from Cleveland. I told him the bar crawl had traveled to Cleveland. He said he comes to New York frequently, so you may see him again on the crawl.

Quite a selection of booze at the bar. The large bottles in the back are the infused vodka.

There's tables and banquettes in the front of the bar.

The bar is wooden and somewhat octagon in shape, although there's not quite eight sides.

Here's an example of how dark it is in here. Here's the lounge area taken without the flash.

And here's the same shot with the flash.

There's nightly piano music at the bar, but it's kept at a conversational level.

Here's Irina at work mixing up another drink for me.

She adds the finishing touches and...

Voilà, a G3 martini.

Russian artwork hangs on the dark wooden walls of the bar.

And here's some more vats of the infamous infused vodka.

Here's Irina taking a little break behind the bar.

Next she served up a four shot tasting which was on the house. I love this place!

Cheers from Irina and I and goodnight, everybody!

I think I found the perfect bar. Nice and dark inside, no windows, no TV’s and no pretentious attitude. The bartenders and waitresses are pretty and friendly, there’s live piano music every night of the week and the crowd is a mix of tourists, local business people and perhaps a thirsty international spy or two. The main room houses the octagon shaped wooden bar. There’s tables and chairs in nooks in the front and behind the piano is a lounge area with couches and tables to relax and enjoy your flavor-infused vodka.

The Russian Vodka Room lives up to its name.
There’s over 40 varieties of vodkas and 10 flavor infused vodkas including: apple cinnamon, garlic, pepper and dill, horseradish and strawberry among others. There’s eight selections of rare scotch whiskies available and ten types of cognac. They have five choices of flavored martinis and specialty cocktails include: the Russian Breakfast which is, garlic, pepper, dill vodka with beef broth and tomato juice; the Red Bastard which mixes horseradish vodka and spicy bloody Mary mix and the Mintini which is a mixture of mint infused vodka, fresh lime and gingerale.

You’re going to need something to soak up all that booze and there’s plenty of items on their dining menu to do just that. There’s a large appetizer/small plate selection, including: Herring with potatoes, Duck Liver Pate, Beef Carpaccio with spicy mayonnaise and Smoked Trout with picante salad. Some of the main courses offered are: Chicken Schnitzel with truffle, Beef Stroganoff with kasha, Lamb Shanks Braised In Red Wine and Roast Duck with apples. There’s five different kinds of caviar and dessert is also available and if I go back I’m trying the Farmer's Cheese Blintzes with chocolate.

There’s a daily happy hour that runs from 4pm-7pm with $3.50 house-infused vodkas, $5 flavored martinis and $4 beers. Byla ne byla and cheers to the Russian Vodka Room.

Russian Vodka Room
265 W. 52nd St. (Near Broadway)


Bonus Photos!

Aussie mate, Tim Clack sent in these photos of Sydney's oldest brewery. Here's the photos and Tim's captions.

This place is the Lord Nelson Hotel Brewery located in the Rocks in Sydney. The Rocks is pretty much the oldest part of the city which is under the south side of the Harbour bridge. It used to to be a bad ass area full of hookers and sailors and has hosted the odd underworld murder in it's time.

I'm sure it packs out on the weekends but at Monday lunch its a haven for kicking back and enjoying a few of their specialty house brews.

Thanks for sending in the photos, Tim, very cool! And now in honor of the Russian Vodka Room...

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Reader Comments (34)

Personally I think you should of went there like you where in a spy mission since there been resent spies that where caught in NYC , & shot the Bar in the sneak , but thats my idea .

Love the no flash shots !! That is a truely dark Bar .

TO : Tim Clack

Hello Jaws !!!

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

This has to make the top ten bar list! No windows, dark and no TV's! Paradise loaded with vodka! And Jaws is looking good in the 365 colors designed by Boris. Hey, with a name like Boris, you should've taken him along to the Russian bar along with Natasha! Love the down under shots from Tim, great work and another great crawl!

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

@365: Yes you have found a really perfect bar, no doubt about it. Last week the Sly Fox (Ukranian) and now Russian V, things keep getting better all the time, and now I can enjoy Back in the USSR while I check it all out. Thank you. Irina is a beautiful young lady with a great smile. This bar is modern but worn, which makes it great. See how the dark pictures look so great? Maybe you are doing an eastern european tour here? Let's see, Lucy's in the East Village could make this tour complete as she is polish and still bartends there since the 70's. @Jaws: the cigar in your mouth only adds to your handsome looks. I will check out your site.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Al: I've been to Lucy's (number 75) and she's a great lady with potent Polish vodka!

August 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@363: senior moment

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Al: I know the feeling! LOL at "363!"

August 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

SO COOL !!! I LOVE THIS BAR !!!!!! anyway I love russia!
Marty, if my russian is not getting too bad, I think "Budem Zdorovy" is more a kind of "cheers" that you say when you're leaving the place, sounds more like a "Take care!"
To say "cheers" as we think it in english, it will be "Vahshyeh zdorovyeh" (shit! here I realize that I never learned english phonetic and don't know how to write it... but Vashié zdorovié in french phonetic) = ва́ше здоро́вье!

@Jason : Funny you're thinking that!! Are you virgo? sounds like you got a paranoïd mind !! hahahaha (kiding!) Russian are not as paranoïd as the homeland security !!! :D LOL

Irina is on my top 10 list for the more beautiful bartender so far !!!!!

ва́ше здоро́вье!
пока́ ка́ждый (poka kazdii)

oh.. I forgot! TO JAWS ! very stylish !!! ;)
and thanks Clack to share these photos !!!!!!!! so cool !

We're having a heat wave here in the twin cities, the temp is in the mid 90's the dew point is around 75 degrees and the heat index is well over 100 degrees...my place feels like a toaster oven with me in it being toasted like a pizza. My God does that ice cold pineapple drink look good about now...icy cold no doubt! This looks like the Kind of place where a nineteenth century impressionist painter would feel very much at home hoisting an Absinthe Drip or two in and contemplating mailing his ear off to an old girlfriend! Love to spend some time there, though I think I like my ears right where they are. I'd lay off the Absinthe and stick to the pineapple vodka...God, I bet those are tasty! Hello Jason! And thanks for the plugola Marty!

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Zioum Zioum: Thanks for the Russian cheers!

@Jaws: Happy to serve up the plugola, your books are hilarious and I suggest everyone check them out! You look great in the shirt!

August 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

wait a nyc minute. no windows, no tv's, russian there is only one place Pravda darlink. in soho down a flight a stairs. great russian food, great russian drinks and no tv's or windows and its dark. I was wondering when you would start hiting russian bars. Pravda is it. Not the newspaper the bar.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternick beal

"Must capture Moose and Squirrel."
This is the perfect getaway.
(plus there is no "Yogurt Happy Hour")
Jaws looks to be a perfect bookend for Henry Hill in the 365 shirt.
Thanks for helping keep the crawl moving forward.
Nice to see others sharing their pictures and our mates from "Down Under".
Cheers Tim!

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

vodka, no windows and irinas lovely smile, it doesn't get much better than this! great find! you look mighty handsome in the shirt jaws, i'll check out your books! and more cool australlian photos! yay!

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

RVR, good choice. Did you note the actual hammer & sickle on the wall over the bar?

The food there is actually quite good. And I'm impressed that you were able to get so many pictures, I would have thought RVR was one of those places where your camera might just mysteriously "disappear."

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

@365: Not only did I have a senior moment today with #75, but I can't type worth a shit either.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Fat Al: I missed the hammer and sickle, too many vodka shots I guess. I was leery that they''d let me take photos too, but the manager was a real nice guy and told me it was fine, as long as I didn't pester anyone. It's been one of the best bars so far.

August 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@Fat Al: Not sure if we can find the hammer and sickle in the wall, (but I can be wrong!) since the soviet union's dissolution happened almost 20 years ago now. At least if the manager wants to create a particular & old ambiance!!! In fact I really don't know how feel the russians about this period of their hystory...
I found a bar in Paris with the old "Travail Famille Patrie" sentence from the vichy government in 1940, I thought it was funny but kind of "cynically audacious" !! hahahaha !!!!

The G3 Martini is such a lovely drink. The people there and Irina the lovely bartender look so sweet and friendly. That is so cool that they have over 40 different types of Vodkas. I would love to visit that bar one day, it looks incredibly cool!

I forgot to mention that I spent 6 week in Russia, Leningrad, (now St. Petersburg) Moscow, the Ukraine and Minsk traveling all over the forner Soviet Union and that was when it was still the Soviet Union.

It is a truly amazing and fascinating place. When when we were in St. Petersburg it was June and the sun was out until two am and the sun rose at 4 am...only two short hours of almost darkness. It was cool and gave my friends and I a great reason to stay up all night and get drunk.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

@Tiki Bar Susie: you're so lucky you went there!! I would love to go! and the architecture from the soviet union is wonderfull !! did you need an invitation letter to go there at the time?

@Tiki Bar Susie: I forgot you went there! That sounds like an amazing trip. You would love ths bar!

August 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

since vodka is my drug of choice this bar suits my style!

infused vodka? I need to get out more.

out of the 4 shots, which was your favorite and why (how could you remember?)

JAWS does your shirt justice! handsome guy for sure :)

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon E.

@Shannon E: They were all great, but I think Iliked the pineapple shot the best. If you like vodka, you need to check this joint out!

August 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Infused Vodka!! For those who can't get to a vodka bar and would like to experience it's magical, mystical powers try this....
1:Take one 750ml bottle of your favourite Vodka and pop the lid and take a straight shot (just to see if it's ok).
2:Depending on your tastes, add 2 birds eye Chillies, 1 small sprig of Thyme and 1 dried Bay leaf...or for a sweeter taste add 1 vanilla bean, 2 cloves and 1 star anise pod.
3: Put the lid back on and place the bottle out of sight some where dark on a shelf for 6 to 8 weeks (I know thats a long time but the longer the better).
4: After said 6 to 8 weeks open the bottle and consume out of sight somewhere dark.
Try to avoid using green leafy herbs such as mint because they have a tendency to turn bitter if they've been left to infuse =waste of vodka
(these are just couple that I've been involved in making...someone needs to put out a recipe book for this stuff....Jaws?

@365: I dig this bar. I'm definitely taking the wife there on her birthday in Nov.The last time I drank a chilli Vodka was at my mate's 30th couple of years back. We had our guitars and drums and synths and Keyboards out for some stoned, drunken improv. I took 2 shots. Jumped on the piano and came up with a huge number dedicated to my mate and I can't play the damn piano!!! So Vodka bar with a piano could see me thrown out onto the street. And the Pentagram in the window adds to the darkness. I like.
Thanks for posting my photos Marty. It was a great retreat from walking around Sydney all morning.

@Jaws: You look exactly like I had pictured. Love the hat.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

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