Spotlight on NYC restaurants

This month, at noon on October 27, I will moderate a panel of authors who have written about the history of New York restaurants. The event takes place at the 92nd Street Y in Tribeca (92YTribeca) which is downtown at 200 Hudson Street.

The title of the panel, “Appetite City: The History of New York’s Restaurants,” clearly refers to panelist William Grimes’ book APPETITE CITY: A CULINARY HISTORY OF NEW YORK. Grimes, of the New York Times, was the paper’s restaurant critic from 1999 to 2003. He also curated the New York Public Library’s exhibit of historic menus in the 2002-2003 show “New York Eats Out,” which I was lucky enough to see.

Mark Kurlansky, best-selling author of COD, SALT, and many other books, will also be on the panel. His THE BIG OYSTER discusses oyster cellars and other historic restaurants in New York, while his FOOD OF A YOUNGER LAND also contains essays on restaurants. He will be signing the latter book as well as EDIBLE STORIES, his new novel which should debut in time for the October 27 panel.

David Sax will talk about Jewish delicatessens past and present that he researched and visited when writing his book SAVE THE DELI. His blog of the same name is a lively and humorous spot dedicated to, as he states, “the preservation of the Jewish delicatessen, a hallowed temple of salted and cured meats.”

I’m expecting an enjoyable hour with lots of good discussion, followed by me eating lunch at Café 92YTribeca. Care to join me?

4 Comments

Filed under miscellaneous

4 responses to “Spotlight on NYC restaurants

  1. Shayne

    I’m looking forward to the panel and seeing you on the 27th!

  2. Bill Peck

    I also saw the menu exhibit at NYC Public Library in 02-03. What struck me was the tiny characters of the print on most of these menus, barely ledgible, even with my glasses. My eyes aren’t that bad; maybe common for the print size of the day? Can someone explain? I don’t understand this, given the dimmed illumination in pre electric lighting days. Was ink expensive, or what?

    • Interesting question. I can only guess the answer. Most of the menus on display were from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Menus then were plain, mainly lengthy lists of available dishes. Because it was the custom to offer so many choices, there was usually a lot to cram on a menu. I believe people became accustomed to the small type and so it was used even on menus with fewer items. The dining population was on the whole younger then and presumably they had better eyesight. I’d like to hear other opinions on this question.

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