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Russ & Daughters Café, 100-Year-Old Market in Lower East Side Opens Sit-Down Cafe on Orchard Street


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I'll be on the LES visiting my SIL week after next. She lives on Rivington between Norfolk and Suffolk, a hop and skip from Katz's and Russ & Daughters, which are always on our agenda when we visit.

Eager to hear what you think of R&D's new cafe if you get a chance to visit.

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On 6/5/2014 at 9:50 AM, rssFood said:

He isn't very far into American Fried, the first volume of his Tummy Trilogy, before Calvin Trillin mentions Russ & Daughters. He happens to be tailing madcap actor and comedian Zero Mostel on the sort of Lower East Side food crawl that the New Yorker writer would later become famous for, and describes a luscious lox and sturgeon sandwich made by proprietor Herbie Federman. The subsequent chapter tells how Sunday mornings, Trillin is in the habit of going to Russ & Daughters to buy Nova Scotia lox, while also getting homemade scallion cream cheese ...

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OMG, I'm gonna plotz...Three herring platter, pastrami smoked lox. But here in the vast wasteland of NOVA (pun intended), no such luck.

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OMG, I'm gonna plotz...Three herring platter, pastrami smoked lox. But here in the vast wasteland of NOVA (pun intended), no such luck.

It's not cheap, but R&D does ship. I've had orders mailed to me twice before, and each time they have come very well packed in coolers with the product in excellent condition.

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My 15 year-old breakfasted with me at Russ & Daughter's Cafe yesterday morning and it is now her favorite restaurant.  She enjoyed the sable and bagel platter, which arrived with all ingredients separate so she could tailor it to her satisfaction.  The capers could have used a quick rinse to take some of the brine off them, but otherwise she was delighted and they did manage to provide ripe tomato slices, in February.  I had the potato latkes with the untraditional option of salmon roe and creme fraiche.  They were small latkes with some scallion in them, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.  My daughter's insanely overpriced ($7!) malted egg cream was expertly prepared and she got a kick out of the hollow steel spoon/straw combo.  We had the pickle platter; the half-sours and the pickled fennel were my favorites.  It took quite a bit of control to save half of that platter to take home to the spouse I'd left behind in Virginia.

The interior of the Cafe is immaculately clean and we were just charmed all around.  I am quite sure that we will be back on our future trips to NYC.

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My daughter now reports that the chocolate babka French toast is the best French toast she's ever had.  Battering on it was very light, almost un-noticable visually.  Now we get to try re-creating that at home.  The blueberry/basil soda my husband had was very intensely flavored; had it been my drink I would have watered it down with the free seltzer.   I enjoyed the very generously portioned kasha varniskas with a poached egg on top, while the spouse went for the herring platter, which had 3 types of herring and 3 sauces. I'm of the opinion that you have had to grow up with sauced herring for the sauces to make any sense, none of these sauces improved the herring for me.  The potato knishes are appetizer knish sized, served with a jumping hot horseradish mustard.  The mustard was frankly better than the knishes; it is an outstanding mustard and the knishes are merely good.  The three of us all think my knishes are better, both for the flaky dough and the better-seasoned mashed potatoes.  The good news is that my daughter is now interested in learning to make knishes. 

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