Finding Matryoshka, an old-school restaurant featuring Russian comfort food, takes some effort–you have to walk through a labyrinthian space to find it, as it is hidden within a Russian bathhouse (the front desk clerk will give you directions).
At first, we were the only patrons during a lunch time visit, but other diners followed (including a table of chatty, jovial co-workers). When we first walked in the waitress went up to the wall mounted tv and lowered the volume on her own initiative, so that the program played softly in the background. The channel was one we never heard of, OANN, which reported on worldwide weather anomalies, followed by a documentary on the Hittites. An odd choice, perhaps, but much better than loud, pulsating music. There is no doubt that the space would have been louder if the room was full, but at 64 decibels there is room to accommodate additional diners. [When we visited Matryoshka for lunch a few months later, the experience was the same. There was one loud table but the tv volume was very low, resulting in a reading of 65.8 decibels.]
Matryoshka offers two prix fixe menus at lunch time ($12.95 or 16.95), both of which include a choice of salads (the house salad was simple but very fresh), soup, and an entrée, along with a basket of brown bread and butter. The food was very good and filling and service was excellent. We suspect the space may be louder in the evening when fellow diners are more likely to drink, so we will return to get a decibel reading during dinner service.
You just don’t find many places like Matryoshka any more. If you are in the Financial District/South Seaport area, are very hungry, and like Russian food, we heartily recommend that you check out Matryoshka. It is well worth the visit.
7:00 a.m. to midnight every day
88 Fulton Street (betw. William and Gold, closer to Gold), NY, NY 10038