January 1, 1970 | Vintage Insatiable

Vintage Insatiable Critic: 1970-1972

January 12, 1970

New York's winter has already unfurled precociously at twilight on December 15 behind a hedge of poinsettias in the southwest corner of the Seagram Building...more

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LAFAYETTE, WE ARE LEAVING

March 23, 1970

Here in this wee cramped masonry fortress at 202 East 50th Street, hauteur has been elevated to unsurpassed superciliousness. In a town where, snob, snoot and snub flower in perpetual renaissance, Lafayette is the “most.” Here the spleen is infinitely more memorable than the sweetbreads… more

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HOW NOT TO BE HUMILIATED IN SNOB RESTAURANTS

April 13, 1970

I wish to introduce M. Martin Decré. His face is pink. His hair is gray. His feet are flat. His cufflinks, by Cartier. He is the sentinel of La Seine Restaurant...more

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MIRACLE ON 50TH STREET

April 27, 1970

France undiluted thrives at the Restaurant Lutèce…brilliant, eccentric, individual and alive. Alive, and therefore inevitably flawed, Lutèce is the witty and civilized creature of André Surmain... more

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EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ICE CREAM BUT WERE TOO FAT TO ASK

August 3, 1970

As the establishment cracks and institutions crumble, it is no wonder we reach out to ice cream. It is a link to innocence and security, the last of the eternal verities. Or is it... more

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THE STEAKS ARE HIGH

September 14, 1970

Cunning, con, the computer and unmasked contempt for consumer taste trumpet a theme for survival in Manhattan’s wilted restaurant industry. Tenderizer holds dominion. The success of the $1.59 steak, merchandized for $5.50, reveals we are not nearly the demanding gastronomes our passion for shallots and devotion to Julia Child might suggest...more

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RESTAURANT ASSOCIATES: TWILIGHT OF THE GODS

November 2, 1970

The mighty keeper of bed and board had fallen to its knees…excellence and showmanship couldn’t bail it out; creativity seemed an extravagance. Would a new dedication to mediocrity save RA?...more 

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BARBETTA: NO MERE TRUFFLE

November 16, 1970

Barbetta stirs the epicurean intellect but leaves epicurean emotions starved.  I can think of no Italian restaurant in New York that promises more, comes so close to delivering—and no house of haute Italian pretension…more

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MA VIE AVEC LE GRAPE NUT

November 30, 1970

Let me say this for the Kultur Maven, longest-running joy of my life, he was always a class guy. Even in those days of blissful solvent poverty. He never even considered the 99-cent specials. Even in the glorious green of his innocence, he had an innate sense of where the line falls between shlock and dreck...more 

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THE PRINCEDOM OF PASTA

December 14, 1970

Orsini’s is like an Italian Lover. Unsubtly sexy, petulant, demanding… an irresistible con… a transparent liar… expensive...more

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COLONY WAXWORKS

January 4, 1971

Bullfights depress me. And I don’t believe in capital punishment. Bite for the sake of bite is a cruel indulgence. But I don’t see how I can ignore The Colony Restaurant...more

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THE GRAYING OF '21'

January 18, 1971

If there is a greening of America, it has yet to send one tiny verdant tendril through the asphalt of West 52d Street...more

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ELAINE'S: IT MUST BE CALF'S FOOT JELLY

March 29, 1971

The intense inevitability of Elaine's has survived the tensility of Mere Chic. I suspect it has gone beyond even the boundaries of Ritual Masochism. When Suzy designated Manhattan's seven "Beautiful People Restaurants," there, nestled amidst all the obvious La's and Le's, was…more

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GROUND FLOOR/LA PETITE FERME

May 10, 1971

The bouquets, fruit and stuffed pheasant flanking the Ground Floor's open kitchen can warm even stainless steel...Strollers can't resist peeking in at La Petite Ferme as they pass, ooing and cooing as if at a baby…more

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OUT OF THE VELVEETA COCOON

May 17, 1971

Often I am asked how I became a food writer. Whom did I bribe? Or sleep with? At what great palate did I study?...more

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QUO VADIS, EDIBLE FEELGOOD

May 31, 1971

Quo Vadis is one of Manhattan’s most highly celebrated grandes dames…is poised and hospitable…She adores the rich, pampers the notable and is so solidly established she can afford to be gracious to mere nobodies…more

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PEARL'S: THE SCRUTABLE OUCH

July 26, 1971

The Dragon Lady’s favorites never see a menu. "Feed us, Pearl," they say. Her instinct for indulgence is a legend…more

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GLUTTONY WITH GRANDEUR

August 16, 1971

Across a thousand miles of buttered fettuccine and beyond the cliché Vesuvius of roiling tomato sauce, the tolerant adventurer may rediscover the forgotten nuances of Italian dining: Innocent Nostalgia…more

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BEFORE LA GRENOUILLE: LOU G. SIEGAL'S

August 29, 1971

Lou Siegel's is to Elaine's as the stitch is to the word… the obligatory luncheon fress. Uptown the egos feed. Here the Garment Center bon vivant wallows in haute kosher delicacies of wondrous provenance...more

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HIGH RENT CHINESE

September 27, 1971

Epicures struggle to be treated like grownups in the condescending climate of the uptown Chinese restaurant… Spicy lists into bland so as not to terrorize the sheltered innocent, the chow mein kid… more

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SHADOWS AT STONEHENGE

October 25, 1971

"Not at lunch," our captain confided when we asked for a soufflé at Stonehenge. "There is no chef in the kitchen…" more

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THE PAELLA PERPLEX

November 27, 1971

Well, yes, there are lapses. And the prices are steep. But when the Spanish Pavilion is good, it can be extraordinary... more

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WERE MCSORLEY'S  (AND THE OAK ROOM) WORTH LIBERATING?

December 10, 1971

Only an occasional adventuress, militant or docile tourist wife invades what was once the Oak Room’s daytime stag glare…There's a lock on McSorley’s W.C. now, but otherwise, the shattering of sexist barriers hasn't sweetened the grit in the old saloon… The Woman's Exchange…makes you feel you've stepped out of New York into an old ladies' home... more

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LE PAVILLON: THE INEVITABLE ADIEU

October 30, 1972

After all, Le Pavillon was only a restaurant. Not a lover, not an idol, not a friend…just a restaurant. Just an institution…more

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LE CYGNE: THE SWANPOND

May 15, 1972

Watch as the flowers on that table are whisked away, the better to woo Julia Child with a hearty sausage en croûte. Now the flowers are replaced, now whisked away again for a full presentation of the plat du jour…more

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TROISGROS: A GOURMANIACAL DETOUR

June 6, 1972

In five weeks of fiercely serious eating, I found Les Frères Troisgros to be the most ingenuous sorcerers of all…more

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STATUS REPORT ON LA GRANDE CUISINE

June 12, 1972

One beatific day in May the welfare department of New York magazine gave me a small cash advance on my liver. And off I flew to foie gras country – insatiable Alice through the looking glass, growing taller and smaller on the magic mushroom... more

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THE S.S. FRANCE: HAUTE AFLOAT

July 31, 1972

And yet here I am, bravely, foolishly hopelessly aligned with the arriere-garde, enchanted with the ever-so-lightly tarnished joys of the S.S. France… floating fortress of old-fashioned, unashamed decadence… more

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PARIS: HAUTE TO-GO

August 1, 1972

When the senses are jaded and the gall bladder sorely tried, Fauchon feeds the head. It is the Van Cleef & Arpel of gastronomy…. An effete Zabar’s, squaring the far corner of the Place de la Madeleine... more

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THE KITCHEN AS ERROGENOUS ZONE

September 25, 1972

What is the territorial imperative of the urban kitchen? Is our wretched little closet-kitchen merely a symptom of the urban malaise, or a virus that inflames it? How mean the average New York kitchen is…more

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JIMMY'S: RECIPE FOR A POLITICAL RESTAURANT

November 20, 1972

Listen, all you bums and poets. This is New York…where politics and chopped chicken liver are born bedfellows. If you don’t want to be a judge or run for Mayor and you haven’t saved up enough cash to emigrate to Brazil, what else can you do?...more

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Insatiable, The Book, Bby Gael Greene









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