30 November 2006

Oldies and Goodies

I visited Le Veau d'Or, the venerable, unbelievably unchanged old French restaurant on E. 60th Street, again, and found out that the old man, Robert Treboux, who owns it and plays host to, say, maybe six diners a night, owns the building and lives upstairs. Good news for preservationists. Now, if only his daughter would go on the record as saying she'll continue the tradition. Note to Orson fanatics. Welles used to sit in the table closest to the door, by the only window. You can't sit there now; the owner reserves it for himself.

And had lunch at Barbetta, the oldest restaurant on Restaurant Row (one hundred years this year), and discovered that that building, too, is owned by the proprietor, one very grande dame by the name of Laura Maioglio. And get this: she's only the second owner. Her father, Sebastiano, was the first. If we're to believe the self-generated press on this elegant eating palace, it was the first to bring New York white truffles, Barolo, Barbaresco, sun-dried tomatoes, tiramisu, panna cotta, risotto, polenta and espresso. If only a third of those claims are true, the place is an Italophiles' landmark.

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