Russ & Daughters “Herring Pairing” Takes Place July 11

new catch holland herring season

Every year at this time, Russ & Daughters celebrates New Catch Holland Herring season, which culminates in a one-of-a-kind event, a “Herring Pairing” shindig at the Astor Center.

This year it takes place July 11 (that’s next Tuesday), and includes guest chef Gerardo Gonzalez (of Lalito in Chinatown). The event includes the “new catch” matjes (young) herring, as well as many different varieties prepared by the Russ & daughters team, paired with sparkling wines and specialty cocktails. Gonzalez, who got his start at El Rey on the Lower East Side, has been a frequent collaborator with Russ & Daughters over the years. Also taking part this year is saxophonist Paul Shapiro, another longtime R & D friend. Click here for ticket info.

If you want to keep it low-key but are still interested in sampling the new catch herring, they’re available in the store, located at 179 East Houston St. You can also order them in the Russ & Daughters Cafe, 127 Orchard St. The esteemed LES appetizing store has been hosting “New Catch Holland Herring” tasting events since 2009.

Russ & Daughters Opens at the Jewish Museum

Photos courtesy of Russ & Daughters.

Photos courtesy of Russ & Daughters.

For Russ & Daughters, 2016 is starting off with a bang. Earlier this month, the Lower East Side appetizing store announced it would be opening a large production facility and retail shop at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Now the 102-year-old New York City institution has debuted a new restaurant and takeout shop in the Jewish Museum on the Upper East Side.

The 60-seat kosher restaurant is located on the museum’s lower level. An appetizing counter will open shortly.  The decor pays tribute to both the Russ & Daughters shop on East Houston Street as well as the newer Orchard Street cafe. It was designed by Solomonoff Architecture Studio and features a 20-foot mural by artist Maira Kalman, commissioned by the Jewish Museum. It’s made up of 120 vignettes which, according to a press release, reflect “the artist’s appreciation of good food, shared human pleasure, and her sense that Russ & Daughters represents a New York City infused with a sense of character, yearning, and humor.”

Russ&DaughtersAtTheJM3 (1)

The menu includes smoked fish platters, bagels and bialys from the new Brooklyn bakery, knishes, herring, salads, soups, egg creams, cocktails and desserts. Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum is open Sunday- Wednesday 11 a.m.- 5:45 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday 11 a,m.-4 p.m. Hours will be extended in the not-too-distant future.

The museum is located on 92nd Street at 5th Avenue.


More on Russ & Daughters’ Expansion to the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Rendering: Russ & Daughters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Rendering: Russ & Daughters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Earlier this morning, we noted that Russ & Daughters is opening a large production facility in a newly renovated building at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The story was first reported by the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Now there are more details in a press release forwarded by the New York City Mayor’s Office:

The Brooklyn Navy Yard announced today that venerable New York City food institution Russ & Daughters will anchor the ground floor of Building 77, its new public food hall and manufacturing space. Renowned for its signature smoked fish, caviar, traditional bagels, bialys, and baked goods, Russ & Daughters is run by Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper – the fourth generation of the family which founded the business in 1914. “Our investment in Building 77 means thousands more good jobs in the Navy Yard. Russ & Daughters is a great New York City company, and it’s going to be the first of many to scale up and add new employees in this new manufacturing space,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The 102-year-old appetizing store has been in expansion mode the past few years. A restaurant opened in 2014 at 127 Orchard St. A new cafe is also in the works at the Jewish Museum.

Russ & Daughters is taking 14,000 sq. ft. at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for a food manufacturing center. There will also be a retail space and bagel sandwich shop. In the new space, the company will be able to hire 30 additional people beyond the staff already working on the Lower East Side.

The facility will house Russ & Daughters’ newly launched bakery (which is now in Bushwick), a nationwide shipping center, a central kitchen, on -site and off-site catering services and a training center. Classes will also be offered to the public at this location.

In the release, Nike Russ Federman said, “The opportunity to continue our growth — within the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 200 year old force of industry and development in New York — is not only incredibly exciting, it’s a natural fit.”

“When we visited the Brooklyn Navy Yard for the first time,” added Josh Russ Tupper, “we were amazed by the spectacular and vast space. Building 77 will open up this previously hidden gem to the public. The excitement that will be generated from the intersection of food production and enjoyment in Building 77 will help solidify the Navy Yard’s place as a vibrant and unique location in New York to work and visit.”


An Intimate Night of Music at the Russ & Daughters Cafe Thursday

Squadron Presents Russ & Daughters With Honorary Resolution

Sen. Daniel Squadron, Josh Russ Tupper, Niki Russ Federman, Herman Vargas (general manager), Maria Russ Federman (Niki's mom).

Sen. Daniel Squadron, Josh Russ Tupper, Niki Russ Federman, Herman Vargas (general manager), Maria Russ Federman (Niki’s mom).

It was the start of the legislative session in Albany yesterday, but after business wrapped up for the day, State Sen. Daniel Squadron headed straight for the Russ & Daughters Cafe.

While he has a soft spot for pretty much anything on the menu, Squadron did not high-tail it back to Manhattan just for a little nosh. Back in June, his resolution honoring the legendary appetizing store’s 100th anniversary was unanimously approved by the Senate. While the Russ & Daughters family gathered for a post-holiday party, Squadron presented fourth-generation co-owners Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper with the resolution. You can read the full text here.

It was quite a year for the famed appetizing store. A new cafe opened on Orchard Street to rave reviews. The New York Times named it the second best new restaurant of 2014. In brief remarks, Squadron told the story of his own Lower East Side roots (his grandfather grew up on lower Ludlow Street). He said the store stands as an important testament to the immigrant experience in New York.

Squadron even recounted an early date with his future wife in the shop. Fortunately, she passed the Russ & Daughters test.

Russ & Daughters Publicist’s Instagram Lands American Apparel Exec in Trouble

Inside the Russ & Daughters Cafe at 127 Orchard St.

russ and daughters cafe 12

Photos by The Lo-Down, unless otherwise noted.

When the Russ & Daughters Cafe opens its doors for the first time this morning, it’s a foregone conclusion that the lox and herring and the smoked salmon omelets will all be delicious. The real trick will be transferring the feeling—that special old-world vibe and human touch—from the world-famous shop on East Houston Street to a brand new restaurant at 127 Orchard St. Beginning at 10 a.m., the first customers will be able to see for themselves whether the venerable appetizing shop has pulled it off—successfully expanding the century-old institution into a new space.

The New Russ & Daughters Cafe is Hiring

“The Sturgeon Queens” Documentary is Set to Kick Off Russ & Daughters Centennial

It’s going to be a big year for Russ & Daughters.  The famed appetizing store is celebrating its 100th birthday.  In the spring, co-owners Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman are opening a full-service restaurant on Orchard Street. And now, a documentary called “The Sturgeon Queens,” which traces the store’s colorful history through four generations,  is screening at film festivals around the country.  It will air on PBS later this year (see the trailer above).  The documentary was featured in a story that popped up today from The Jewish Week:

Seasoned filmmaker Julie Cohen had been planning a full-length feature on the store for years. She knew that if she wanted to make it happen, 2014 would be the time. “It really had to be this year,” she said. Cohen, who runs the documentary production company Better Than Fiction, came across the idea for a Russ and Daughters movie back in 2008, when PBS commissioned her to produce “The Jews of New York,” an hour-long program that wove together six stories of Jewish life in the city. The tale of the appetizing store was just one of those stories, but it really resonated with Cohen, who, like many secular Jews, said that her strongest connection to her heritage is through its foods. “Like every good Jewish girl, I love lox and pickled herring,” she said. What really drew Cohen into the Russ and Daughters story, though, was the wit and charm of the shop’s eponymous daughters. For the 2008 film, Cohen flew down to Pembroke Pines, Florida to interview the two surviving members of Russ and Daughters’ second-generation owners, Hattie Russ Gold, now 100, and Anne Russ Federman, now 92. The Russ women began apprenticing behind the store’s counter as children, eventually taking over the business with their husbands in the 1940s.

We’ll let you know when we hear about New York screenings and a PBS air date.  You can look for updates here.  The documentary is an independent project — not an official part of the store’s anniversary festivities.

Water, Food, Provisions: Thursday Resources

A small grocery store on Clinton St. just north of Delancey had plenty of fruit and vegetables this afternoon.

City, state and federal relief efforts are starting to take effect on the Lower East Side this afternoon. The National Guard, NYC Service and the Salvation Army are beginning to knock on doors in blacked-out high rises to help home-bound residents. Meanwhile, local businesses continue to rise to the challenge of being powerless for four days straight, including Lower East Side icons Russ & Daughters and Katz’s. Here’s what we know this afternoon about water, food and provisions, as well as local restaurants and bars that are welcoming diners.

  • Beginning at 3 p.m. today, food and water distribution sites will open at the following locations: 10th Street between Avenues C and D, Catherine Street between Monroe and Cherry streets (Smith Houses playground), Pitt and East Houston streets (Hamilton Fish Park), Grand and Clinton streets (water only), Bowery and Division Street (Confucius Plaza).
  • Con Edison began distributing dry ice in Union Square Park at 14th Street and Union Square West at noon today; until supplies last.
  • Russ & Daughters, 179 E. Houston St., is open until 5 p.m. today.
  • Katz’s, 205 E. Houston St., is open until 4 p.m. today and will be open tomorrow and every day until the power returns, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can cook with gas and have most of their menu, including pastrami and hot dogs. Yes, there are tourists there, but it’s not too crowded at the moment.

Restaurant Wrap: Dora, Banjo Jim’s, Cocoron, Spitzer’s Corner, Russ & Daughters

Cappucino at Dora on East Broadway

In neighborhood restaurant news today:

  • Get your late-afternoon cappucino a little earlier from now until Labor Day: Dora tells us via Facebook they will close at 4 p.m. until then.
  • Tonight’s the finale for music bar Banjo Jim’s in the East Village, EV Grieve reports. Next up at that location: artisanal cocktails.
  • Cocoron, the Delancey Street soba shop, draws the eye of the Wall Street Journal.
  • Serious Eats revisits Spitzer’s Corner’s hamburgers three years after its first review, and finds them in need of a higher grade of beef.
  • A new Vimeo video shows 90 seconds’ worth of life inside Russ & Daughters.
  • Bowery Boogie reports rumors of a new venture at the old Imperial Tavern on Ludlow Street.
  • Do food trucks need letter grades from the health department? The mayor thinks so, according to the WSJ’s Metropolis blog.

Great Prizes Up for Grabs at LES Trivia Night!

A Russ & Daughters Classic Bagel and Lox Sandwich, one of the many great prizes proffered, via gift certificate, at LES Trivia Night with The Lo-Down (photo via Lox Populi at

Did we mention there are some fantastic local prizes to be had at our LES Trivia Night tomorrow evening?  Along with tasty snacks and great drink specials on hand, winners of each round of trivia will be treated to some great LES staples, including free movie passes from the Sunshine Cinema, pickle gift certificates from The Pickle Guys, a book basket brimming with books from the Tenement Museum’s bookstore and to top it all off, Grand Prize winners will garner a Russ & Daughters gift certificate for a bagel sandwich!

Join us with the Tenement Museum at Fontana’s!  We look forward to enjoying a fun evening on the LES.  FREE // 6:30pm // 105 Eldridge Street.

LES Food Wire

The New Amsterdam Market doesn’t return to the South Street Seaport until June 27th. But you’ll get a taste of what’s to come Saturday at the New York Marble Cemetery on 2nd Avenue. The City of Merchants fundraiser supports the Market and features all kinds of wholesome foods from local purveyors. See more information here.

Anthony Bourdain Includes Local Favorites, Russ & Daughters and Katz’s, on His Short List


Russ & Daughters' blog, Lox Populi, boasts of making it on to Anthony Burdain's list of "13 Places to Eat Before You Die" in this month's issue of Men's Health.  Tony also suggests going down the street to eat at Katz's Delicatessen to "remind yourself how pastrami is done right".   About the two local establishments he says, "This is what New Yorkers do better than anybody else. And here's where they do it."

We couldn't agree more.

The complete list:

1. St John (London)

2. elBulli (Girona, Spain)

3. The French Laundry (Napa Valley, California)

4. Per Se (New York City)

5. Sin Huat Eating House (Singapore)

6. Le Bernardin (New York City)

7. Salumi (Seattle)

8. Russ & Daughters (New York City)

9. Katz’s Delicatessen (New York City)

10. Etxebarri (Axpe, Spain)

11. Sukiyabashi Jiro (Tokyo)

12. Hot Doug’s (Chicago)

13. Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue (Kansas City, Kansas)

Wednesday News Links

Two more New Yorkers with the swine flu have died, but health officials say they both had other health complications that may have been contributing factors. Still, the city is continuing to grapple with the swine flu even as it has subsided in other parts of the country. Experts at the NYC Health Department are trying to determine why H1N1 is so persistent here.

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has unveiled his plan for mayoral control of the New York City schools. But many of his members remain skeptical, convinced that more oversight of the mayor and accountability are necessary.

Beliefnet columnist Brad Hirschfield, says the release of "Rebecca Rubin," American Girl's latest historical doll, is being treated like the arrival of the Messiah. He questions whether Rebecca's "life story" (growing up on the Lower East Side in 1914), written by author Jacqueline Dembar Greene, is relatable to Jewish girls in the year 2009:

"We are a community that has entered Jewish life through
inter-marriage, adoption, conversion… I am just not sure why having dolls
whose "life" stories are written by an author who struggled to come of
age as a Jew in the 50's, is the place to begin for little Jewish girls

Russ & Daughters is heralding the arrival of the New Catch Holland Herring on June 9th. They're only available for about a month.  The famed appetizing store's blog, Lox Populi, calls these delicacies "a piece of gastronomic heaven, a fabulous buttery and mild matjes (young) herring unlike any other."

The New York Times, previewing summer food events, highlights the Rahkaing Thingyan New Year Water Festival. It's held July 12th at the J.H.S. 56 schoolyard, Madison and Montgomery Streets. The Times says to look for:

"… a bowl of shwe yin aye, whose loose translation is “something that
cools you.” It drenches sticky rice, coconut, assorted colorful agars
and scissor-snipped white bread in several ladles of coconut milk and
tapioca pearls. Other dishes (most are about $5) include mohinga, or
fish noodle soup; shrimp fritters tossed with watercress, cucumber and
fish sauce; and mont kyar si, hand-rolled rice-flour dumplings with
shredded coconut."