Russ & Daughters Plans Cafe at 127 Orchard St.

The Russ & Daughters cafe is happening after all.

Here’s Community Board 3’s September Liquor License Agenda

Community Board 3 is out with the agenda for its September liquor license hearing. There are a number of intriguing items, including a possible (emphasis on “possible”) project from Russ & Daughters, the legendary appetizing store. We’re told not to get too excited about the prospect right now, that it’s very premature, but a guy can always hope!

Russ & Daughters Celebrates New Catch Holland Herring Season Starting June 5

herring photo booth

At Russ & Daughters, they’re gearing up for one of the legendary appetizing store’s signature events: New Catch Holland Herring Season.  The mild, young herrings are generally eaten whole; you hold them by the tail and drop the little delicacies into your mouth.  Every year, Russ & Daughters celebrates the season with a soiree at the Astor Center.  See the photo-booth images from previous herring/cocktail shindigs!  New catch Holland Herring cost $4.49 each and are available at the counter or via mail order beginning June 5.  For more details and to learn more about the June 18th celebration, check out the Russ & Daughters’ blog.


Work For Russ & Daughters!

Get those resumes ready! Here’s a very intriguing job posting on Craigslist:

Find out why Anthony Bourdain calls Russ & Daughters his “favorite place in New York,” by joining our famous front of the house team. You will have the opportunity to be part of 100 years of New York history, learn the craft of “appetizing” and engage with the public in a meaningful way. We have very low turn-over in our staff, which tells you something about the quality work environment at Russ & Daughters. We are looking for bright, articulate people who are fast, focused and attentive to detail and presentation. Candidates should have a background/interest in gourmet food, retail experience, salesmanship, strong communication skills, a good work ethic, and enjoy providing a special experience. Knife skills and familiarity with specialty food items such as smoked fish and caviar are a plus.  If you genuinely enjoy working with and talking about food, connecting with people and providing the best service, then we want to hear from you.  Give us a call at (212) 475-8331 to tell us a little about yourself, and email your resume in the body of an email (no attachments).


CB3 Panel Says “No” to Live Music at “Preserve 24″

175-177 East Houston Street; located just to the right of now-shuttered t-shirt shop "Burkina."

A few more details from last night’s CB3/liquor licensing hearing.  The owners of “Preserve 24,” the bi-level, 24 hour Argentinian cafe/bar taking over 175-177 East Houston Street, made a return engagement.  The community board approved this concept back in April, but the operators came back with a pitch to add “occasional live music” (a couple of times per month) in the basement portion of the space.

In the spring, the committee signed off on the proposal, in spite of objections from Mark Russ Federman, representing “Preserve 24’s” neighbor, Lower East Side institution Russ & Daughters. The Russ family owns 179 East Houston, where the legendary appetizing store is located.  Four months ago, Federman said he was concerned that the new spot might use an interior courtyard, disturbing the residential tenants living above Russ & Daughters and in surrounding buildings.

Russ & Daughters, Calvin Trillin in Poetic Tribute

Photo via Lox Populi

Anyone who’s addicted to Russ & Daughters, knows Herman Vargas (see photo), the legendary appetizing store’s longtime manager. If you head over to the shop’s blog, Lox Populi, you’ll see plenty of photos from last week’s celebration honoring Vargas’s 30 years of service. He started in the kitchen peeling onions when he was 17. As Russ & Daughters  notes, Herman has been:

“…right hand man to three generations of the Russ family, friend and go-to-guy for countless customers, and he was immortalized as “Herman the Artistic Slicer” in Calvin Trillin’s book, Tepper Isn’t Going Out.  Russ & Daughters would not be what it is today without Herman.”

Trillin himself apparently delivered an inspired and hilarious toast. and then there was the original poem, written and recited by Alina Sheffi, who’s been behind the counter at Russ & Daughters for a mere 20 years. See the poem in its entirety after the jump.

New Catch Holland Herring Season Has Arrived

I rushed over to Russ & Daughters today to sample the delicious new catch Holland herring. The famed appetizing store’s co-owner, Niki Russ Federman, says it’s a bit like cherry blossom season – and just about as fleeting. Every year at about this time, herring in the North Sea reach their optimal condition. The event is a national holiday in Holland. The queen takes the first ceremonial taste. Russ & Daughters actually contacts the Dutch embassy to find out when these silvery beauties will be arriving. You can try them at the counter starting today for about the next four weeks.

The new catch Holland herring taste a lot more like sushi than any herring I’ve ever tried. They’re creamy and mild, and have just a hint of salt.  Niki showed me how they’re eaten. First you roll the herring in chopped onion, then grab it by the tail and lower it into your mouth. Some people eat the whole thing (they’re about six inches long) at once.

Niki says they’ve been importing these delicacies for about 10 years. They become a little more popular every year. Next Wednesday, Russ & Daughters will be hosting a herring and aquavit festival, featuring all sorts of herring, in the newly renovated penthouse at the Roger Smith Hotel. You can find out more information on R&D’s web site.

The new catch holland herring cost $4.49 each or $39.95 for a full try. You can buy them in the store or have them shipped.

Russ & Daughters

Perhaps the Lower East Side’s most revered food institution, appetizing store Russ & Daughters has been in business since 1914. Today a new generation of the Russ family sells a wide variety of smoked salmon, sturgeon, herring, sable, etc. There’s also an extensive caviar selection, dried fruits and nuts and coffees.   The artisans behind the counter will probably give you a little taste of lox as they’re carving away.

179 East Houston, near Orchard


Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-8pm; Saturday 9am-7pm; Sunday 8am-53opm; Free delivery 9am-4pm

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