Last December, I had the honor and pleasure of spending some time photographing Entertainer, Musician, Producer and Writer Ellen C Kaye. Over the last year, she has been busy with many projects and I thought it would be fun to get to know her a little better with a quick interview and to share what she is currently working on.
It's not damning with faint praise to say that this lipstick-red bandbox of a restaurant in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge has what may be the best children's menu in town. Kebabs, pelmeni dumplings, sour cherry rice, borscht and mashed potatoes with sour cream and garlic do not talk down to youngsters.
The narrow lot, with bric-a-brac furnishings scattered throughout, looks more like an estate sale with potted plants on offer than a typical nursery. A row of wire-and-wooden chairs (including a high chair) was adorned with grape ivy, Ming Aralia, an odd rock sculpture and a feline wood carving.
She had first hoped to open the restaurant several years ago on 57th Street, as a modern interpretation of the iconic Tea Room. She ran into roadblocks and instead built the Moscow57 brand by doing catering gigs and continuing to sing. She finally realized her dream to open last winter.
Ms. Kaye brings more than her family history to the table. She earned a degree from the French Culinary Institute, and has been a consultant and executive for some of the most prominent names in the business, including Alan Stillman of Smith & Wollensky and Tony May.
A greenhouse-turned-lounge, tucked under the Metro-North Railroad, sounds like a strange location for a night out on the town, but that's exactly what lures visitors to Moscow 57. Part of a weekly summer pop-up event series, Moscow 57 is the brainchild of Ellen Kaye.
REVIEW New in 2014, but with a pedigree that stretches much farther back (one of the owners, Ellen Kaye, is the daughter of Sidney Kaye, who ran the fabled Russian Tea Room for many years), Moscow 57 doesn't get the big names that competing cabaret rooms 54 Below or Cafe Carlyle do.
A WOMAN'S PERSPECTIVE - ELLEN KAYE - MOSCOW 57 OWNER AND NIGHTCLUB SINGER - 07/26/14 History, legacy and the fresh NY Music scene weave together with Russian Central Asian fare as Ellen Kaye, daughter of the former owners of the Russian Tea Room, unfolds the story of Moscow 57 on Delancey, her new restaurant with...
Olympic Inspired Russian Eats Moscow 57 opened recently on February 5, 2014 and was featured on NBC's "Olympic Inspired Russian Eats." To watch the full video, click here: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/the-scene/food-drink/Olympic-Inspired-Russian-Eats/245260561
A delay in opening Moscow 57- a Russian eatery that Crain's reported on in its April 3 issue-has not stopped its owners from launching Moscow 57 Catering while they work on securing real estate. "I'm impatient, so I want to do everything I can to get closer to opening the restaurant," said co-owner Ellen Kaye, whose family owned the Russian Tea Room from 1947 to 1996.
Here's the thing about Moscow 57: It's always a party, and you are always invited. Go with a partner on a romantic date (you won't be the only ones). Go with a group of friends for live music, which is on tap every night the doors are open (Wednesday through Sunday).
Even though it's relatively new, Moscow 57, in many ways, represents a rapidly disappearing Old New York-the New York that is casual, multi-cultural and filled with friends. A New York where live music is a given, laughter spills onto the sidewalk, and old mixes with young.
Restaurant and music venue Moscow 57 reverberates with the spirit of NYC's Lower East Side. It is a natural extension of founder Ellen Kaye's lineage, whose family owned the city's famed Russian Tea Room for 50 years. Kaye herself is an accomplished entertainer who has performed at another 57th Street landmark, Carnegie Hall.
"The hipster mentality can be fun, but it can also feel like it's about exclusion," says Seth Goldman, co-proprietor and executive chef of Moscow 57, the new restaurant-nightspot-music venue on New York's historic Lower East Side. "We aim for the opposite of that, for inclusion." Or, as proprietor Ellen Kaye was quick [...]