We had all enjoyed the original Russ & Daughters downtown, but this was our first foray to the relatively new restaurant uptown. The space occupies a corner of the basement below the Jewish Museum which itself is a destination everyone should try and visit. We didn’t have time this trip to explore the exhibitions, so we popped in just for a quick lunch.
You do not have to purchase an entry ticket to the museum if you are just stopping in for a meal. They also do take out if you are really in a hurry.
The space is bright and inviting, complete with whimsical Maira Kalman wallpaper.
Our appetites were whetted as we walked in and took a quick look at the cases that greeted us.
We arrived just before noon and were quickly seated. The placemats served as menus so we got right to business devising what we wanted to eat.
The decision was an easy one for my three dining companions, they all ordered the Classic Board with a bagel, Nova, cream cheese, tomato, red onion and capers.
I decided on the Farm Egg Omelette which had mushrooms, goat cheese and spinach along with a small salad and a slice of Shissel Rye.
We also couldn’t resist Russ & Daughters Knishes filled with potato and caramelized onion and served with spicy brown mustard.
The food was served quickly and without fanfare. The waiter was professional and helpful, and quite businesslike.
We were all very hungry and went right to work on our meals. The salmon was buttery and delicious and a perfect foil for the toasted bagels and rich cream cheese (or butter in the case of my husband). The red onion and capers added another flavor dimension that made it a perfect combination. The one complaint was that the serving was a little light on the Salmon. They could have added another slice or two.
My omelette was perfectly executed, hot and very buttery with sautéed mushrooms and spinach that went well with the tangy goat cheese. The salad provided a filling and crunch counterpoint. My son tasted the rye and gave it the thumbs up.
The knishes were just the right size, not the usual potato bombs. The potato casings were delicate and the mustard was excellent.
Russ & Daughters was the perfect antidote to the disappointing meal at Sadelles. While R & D was still pricey, we did not feel fleeced as we did at Sadelles. The atmosphere was not quite as buzzy as Sadelles, but the restaurant was full of many ladies of a certain age who look like they really knew their NY deli.
On the way out we were tempted by the display of Babka and Black & White Cookies, but alas, we were too full.
I would absolutely return to Russ & Daughters. It is an oasis on Fifth Avenue, and the perfect place to stop if you need a break for museum going, or a spot to eat following an appointment at nearby Mount Sinai Hospital.
We will resume our Salmon & Bagel Tour next month when we visit Barney Greengrass, my all time favorite.