22 March 2007

A Good Sign: Fedora Restaurant

Fedora's is run by a little old lady named Fedora Dorato, who lives above the basement restaurant on W. 4th Street in the Village. It's been there since at least the 1950s. A stuck-in-time, red-sauce sort of place, and a reminder of another kind of Greenwich Village where food was perhaps not as good, but plentiful and cheap. I imagine Fedora fed a lot of starving artists in its heyday. The menu is a kind of backward charmer, reminding the eater that Fedora doesn't take credit cards, you have to order a minimum of $5, and that Fedora is "comfortably air-conditioned"—surely a major draw in 1957.

The sign speaks for itself. And, unlike other city signs of this vintage, every letter is in working order. Nice going, Mrs. Dorato.


Anonymous said...

The gracious Florentine-born Fedora is 86 years old and has been running her and her now deceased husband's place for 52 years. She is an iconic figure of the pre-Stonewall era of the Village. She enters the room every night and receives applause from her guests. The walls are covered with photos of friends and family and cartoons done by patrons celebrating her place. Her tables always have fresh flowers and the place is much like a still life in red and pink. Closed on Tuesdays.

Andy said...

Fedora and Henry made us feel that we were their kids...Who bothered cooking in the 70s? It was cheaper to go eat with Fedora and Henry!

And all of us looked forward to the Tuesday night special: Fresh Lamb Chops from Florence Meat Market! Who needed a credit card when going to Fedora?

Fedora will always remain in the hearts of those of us who survived the plague...a special woman like Fedora is one in a million and I'm just so damn happy to tell you...And such a beautiful beautiful woman...I'll never forget the day her granddaughter Amanda was born...OMG..Amanda must be close to 50 by now..the joy that went thru the restaurant. Those are days that memories are made of...So bittersweet in retrospect..

Unknown said...

i ate at fedoras a minimum of 3 times a week for about 45 years, great lady, great family, her husband henry was a great guy manning the bar. her son was my dentist, oh the good old days, rip Fedora bill bohaboy west virginia