01 February 2010

A Drink at Guffanti's

I've been in touch, over the past weeks with two descendants of Joseph Guffanti, the Italian restaurateur who ran a famous restaurant on Seventh Avenue and 29th from 1892 on. We're not sure when it closed, but it was probably sometime in the 1960s.

Neither relative had any of Guffanti's old recipes, alas, but one did send me a copy of the wine list. There's no date on it, but, judging from the prices, it hails from the 1950s or 1960s, when Guffanti's nephew Domenick Caserio and his sons were running the place. (Notice the "Casa Domenick on the cover page.") Looks like a pretty good wine list for a New York restaurant of that era, as well as a fine selection of cocktails and cordials.


Anonymous said...

Some of those cocktails have largely faded off into the sunset while others that are commonplace today (e.g. margarita, pina colada) are nowhere to be seen. m It's also interesting that the wines are available by the half-bottle. You don't see that too often anymore.


Liz said...

Just wondering how much Guffanti's descendants know about the 1910's thru 20's. I believe my grandfather worked with Guffanti around 1917 or so. His name was Alessandro Barboni. My grandfather had a boarding house at 295 7th Ave, just across the street from Guffanti's. I'd love to get more information.

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting the menu! The shield matches exactly a platter I found which is dated 1924. The other info on Guffanti's really helped me with the history.

I'd like to use the menu picture in the Restaurant Ware Collectors Network IDwiki if you'd allow it.


Thanks for considering it.

joseph guffanti said...

My grandfather opened the restaurant in 1892 and was the chef. His name was Felix. My father, born in 1905 in NYC, worked there as a boy ... opening and holding the door for patrons as they went in and out.
Felix retired in 1915 / 1917 and lived in Palisades Park, NJ until his death in 1937 [?] His wife, Maria, also worked there and did the books. She died 1/ 25 / 1958. They are buried in St. Joseph’s cemetery in Hackensack, NJ. RIP

Adrien Van der Donck said...

Great post. But, thought I should mention that Guffanti's was on 7th Ave. between 25th & 26th Street, which is now the Chelsea Centro, which Rockrose put up in the 1999-2000 after completing their sell-out of the Mercantile. Kondalis was the architect. There was also a gas station at the corner. S&W clothing was owned by the family that still owns the rental building across the street to the East. The original Famous Players Studio occupied the studios - now much modified - where Martha Stewart has her show. The blocks on the same side of 7th as Guffanti's were demolished for FIT.

Liz said...

RE:Joseph Guffanti said...
Is this a quote or is it from Joseph Guffanti?

Lisa Hogan said...

Hello, just wondering if the restaurant held weddings. I have a family photo from a wedding at Guffanti's Restaurant dated 9/3/38.