kottke.org posts about lutece

Mad Men places

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 29, 2008

The Washington Post takes a stroll through Manhattan, circa the Mad Men era.

Sterling Cooper, as every fan with a pause button knows, is at 405 Madison Ave., an address that…does not exist. If it did exist, it would be where a bank of Chase ATMs is now, not the ideal spot to spend the morning, but don’t worry, soon it will be 11:30 and time for your first cocktail.

One place the article doesn’t mention is Lutèce, the fancy French place frequented by the bigwigs in the show. It closed in 2004. (thx, jake)

40 years of food in NYC

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 29, 2008

As part of their monster 40th anniversary celebration, New York magazine has some notes from the past four decades of food and dining in NYC. Gael Greene remembers her favorite meal as a restaurant critic and also lists the 14 most important NYC restaurants over the past 40 years. No Union Square Cafe? Meyer deserves some credit for taking the stuffiness out of NYC dining.

Legendary chef André Soltner and David Chang share a conversation about the state of food in the city. When Soltner was asked if he did interviews, he replied:

If they came to Lutèce, if they came to my kitchen, yes. I would not go out. If they asked me to go to Chicago to do a fund-raising dinner, it was, “No.” If they asked me to come to give me a prize or whatever, I said, “Only on Sundays, when I’m not in the kitchen.” I was sort of a slave to my restaurant. And my wife too. I don’t say it was right. Today, I maybe say it was wrong. Years ago, in Paris, we had no money. But when we were more comfortable, maybe twenty years later, I said, “Simone, you know, you’ve paid your dues and everything, I buy you whatever you wish.” I was thinking to buy her a ring or a necklace or something like that. “Whatever you wish, tell me.” She looked at me and said, “Take me to a movie.” For twenty years, I hadn’t taken her to a movie. I woke up. I said, “Oh my God, what did I do to my wife?”

And finally but wonderfully, a timeline of food in NYC. The first McDonald’s opened here in 1972 and Starbucks in 1994. Hanger steak was big in 1990.