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Monday Night Music and Dinner at Russian Samovar, Restaurant & Piano Bar
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Russian Samovar
Restaurant & Piano Bar

Monday Night Music and Dinner

Michael Peer, Vocals

Alexander Izbitser, Piano & Vocals

Russian Samovar
256 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 14, 2017

Russian Samovar is a warm and vibrant midtown restaurant in the heart of the theater district. They feature live music along with fantastic Russian cuisine, and you’ll hear vocalists singing in native Russian, as well as in perfect French, Spanish, and Italian. Sometimes a pianist sings ballads in a variety of languages and even plays some Chopin, which happened tonight. But first, the dinner guests were entertained by the vibrant opera and pop singer, Michael Peer. He brings his own karaoke musical accompaniment, which gives Mr. Peer’s performance the aura of a full band concert. Tonight Mr. Peer sang favorite Russian ballads, which many of the restaurant’s guests knew well, plus operatic arias, like the “Chanson du Toréador” from Carmen. Mr. Peer generously added Sinatra standards, like “My Way” and “New York, New York”. Ballads like “Summertime” and “Hallelujah” were mellow, while “Hava Nagila” inspired many dinner guests to sing along. Broadway tunes found their way into the mix, a few from Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Peer sings passionately with deeply resonant tones and expressive gestures.

Seamlessly, following Mr. Peer, Alexander Izbitser, a concert pianist and voice coach, took his seat at the keyboard and switched the mood with Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu. Several Russian and French ballads followed, with Mr. Izbitser singing in native Russian and flawless French, as in “La Vie en Rose” and Yves Montand’s arrangement of “Les Feuilles Mortes”. Hungarian czardas seemed to be emanating through the room, by way of the baby grand, along with some “Happy Birthdays” table to table, as cakes with candles flickered about. Russian Samovar’s Monday dinner special includes blinis and salmon caviar, beef stroganoff with noodles, and a creamy, layered honey cake. I substituted a mushroom ravioli dish for the stroganoff and enjoyed a chilled chardonnay. Years ago I had come to Russian Samovar in the midst of a winter storm, looking for herbal tea. Tonight, in the midst of a hot steamy August, I remembered that prior, glass mug of tea, served with stewed berries in syrup and a slice of lemon. Russian Samovar is worth the visit, just for their herbal tea, and the live music made it all the more luxurious and memorable.

Michael Peer Sings at Russian Samovar
Music of the Night on Mondays
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Blini with Salmon Caviar and Chardonnay
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Michael Peer Sings at Russian Samovar
Music of the Night on Mondays
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Mushroom Ravioli with Sour Cream
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Alexander Izbitser, Pianist & Vocalist, at Russian Samovar
Chopin, Russian and French Ballads on Mondays
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Honey Cake and Herbal Tea with Berries and Lemon
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at