New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

40th Anniversary

Amore for Everyone


And Moreover...

Illustration by Seymour Chwast  

Everyone endures the torturous overbooking equally at Cafe Chauveron, my French favorite and inevitable destination for the ethereal moules au Chablis glacées. André Surmain captures the essence of France at Lutèce in his townhouse home, with his chef import, André Soltner, sculpting schooners in toast. So recently the cashier at Le Pavillon, and Henri Soulé’s mistress, Mme. Henriette Spalter, dictates the rules of propriety at La Côte Basque, making Lynda Bird Johnson strip off the forbidden pants and eat in a paper skirt. I follow the reign of the restaurant bourgeoisie in Women’s Wear Daily. The service is crisply Fred Astaire at The Four Seasons (a Joe Baum fixation). I always drop by to document the momentous change of seasons—flora and fauna, upholstery, captains’ jackets, the waiters’ cummerbunds, matchbooks, coatroom checks—as James Beard proposes seasonal recipes for the Hungarians in charge. ‘21’ keeps out the riffraff at the door, but Kultur Maven and I prefer the Famous Dairy Restaurant on West 72nd anyway for the cheese blintzes and the whopping slice of mushroom loaf. We line up early to get a booth at the Palm for the best sirloin strip in town, and the fantasy that as ink-stained wretches we belong surrounded by painted caricatures of Fourth Estate stars. We walk to the Great Shanghai on Broadway and 102nd Street for the pressed duck and preserved fruits on ice, but in Chinatown it’s always King Wu or Szechuan Taste. Sweet’s at 2 Fulton Street gets three stars from the Times’s Great God Craig Claiborne, but we hang out at the raffish Sloppy Louie’s, with an entrance facing the Fulton Fish Market, sharing a table for a so-called bouillabaisse. We trade insults with the waiters at the Carnegie Delicatessen, scoring extra pickles and a towering three-decker of turkey, corned beef, and tongue with cole slaw and Russian dressing ($1.45) you can actually get your mouth around. Snappy design and the best of the wurst should fill up the counter at Zum Zum (another taste thrill from Baum’s fertile imagination). Too bad this town is still so Chock Full o’ Nuts.


Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift