“That’s the thing, to eat Nova, drink seltzer, and talk about life.”
Larry, the jovial waiter in command of the front half of Russ & Daughters Cafe on Orchard Street seems to have it all figured out. As he glides from table to table dispensing not just heaping plates of smoked salmon, but his own unique brand of fish-centric philosophy, Larry does so with an easy smile which indicates that there’s no other place he’d rather be. This is his home, and he wants nothing more than to welcome you right on in.
The effortless, unironic hospitality that Larry and the rest of the Russ & Daughters team convey is so hard to find these days, especially in New York, that it’s almost jarring at first. Having opened this past month to much fanfare, the Cafe is bustling with people and there’s a wait at all hours of the day, but once I’m seated, the R&D team implores me to simply relax and smell the Nova. After all it took Russ & Daughters almost a century to return to Orchard Street, so why would they start rushing now?