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The Early Word on Russian Newcomer Onegin

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Two alums from Coney Island's famed Rasputin have been serving up caviar and blinis at their new Russian bar and restaurant, Onegin, for a couple of weeks now. While most reviewers seem to find the chandelier-clad, velvet-cushioned dining room to fall into the over-the-top category, some are voicing approval and even good (shilled?) times while sipping vodka and digging into a menu of mostly traditional dishes like chicken Kiev and beef Stroganoff. On to the reviews:

Oof: Bloomberg's Ryan Sutton tweets: "Walked into Onegin. Then walked out. There's my early word." [Twitter]

The Okay News: An Eater commenter thinks the food is fine, but not much else: "my husband and I ate here last night. He had the chicken Kiev, which he quite liked. I had pork pelmenyi, which were very tasty, and as an appetizer portion were definitely suffiicient for a meal with a side of grilled vegetables (broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, and yellow and red pepper, one piece of which was too al dente). But our waiter was a bit too intrusive, inducing us to order a salad and offering advice on the menu which we didn't ask for. And they charged us $3.50 for a bottle of tap water!" [Eater Comments]

The Bad News: Yelp offers some okay reviews, some shills, and some pans, including this one: "BAD food,bad service,bad crowd! Well,I have to review Onegin since Im russian living in Manhattan! I am a very big fan of MariVanna restaurant and I would never cheat on it but my friends invited me to Onegin. So here we go... Food was soso. Apetizers are def better then entrees! Olivier is good as well as pelmeni`s,but trout was too dry and chicken tabaka was not a big deal! But the main minuses are still service, interier and crowd! What a nasty,dark place with slow and sneaky service! Seems like Brighton Beach has moved to Manhattan and not in a good way! It is super overprised also! We had to ask for check 5 times litterally and we were told they`d give us discount which we NEVER received.No smile,no genuine service,very average food,terrible music - all that made our experience very bad and I will def Never come back!!!! Fuuu! DONT GO PEOPLE!" [Yelp]

The Good News: For what it's worth, this is the least shilly of the five star Yelp reviews: "My girlfriends went here this weekend to check out the hottest russian joint in the city. We're not really well versed in russian cuisine so we thought it would be fun to check out before the rest of ny got wind of this place and we wouldn't be able to get reservations. We were floored by the amazing decor! You feel very classy while there. All of the food is very good and if you are into vodka, this is your place. To top it off, all of the staff was really friendly and made sure to make you feel right at home. If I were you, I'd hustle on over before their official grand opening and you aren't able to get a table." [Yelp]

The Shill: Yelp is rife with shills for Onegin, and it turns out Citysearch is too: "A very different approach to dining. Definitely a new pro to the NY night scene. I've been in NY for almost ten years and never have I ate at a place like Onegin. Love to see places trying new things and bringing something to the table. And yeah, if you're a fellow vodka lover this is definitely your place." [Citysearch]

The Good Drinks News: Foursquare tips are sparse, but there's this: "Ask for drinks from Tim the bartender, he is quite good." [Foursquare]

Onegin Restaurant

391 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10014 212 924 8001