January 1, 1965 | Vintage Insatiable

Vintage Insatiable Critic

    As George Eliot observed while waiting for dessert, "It is hard to live up to our own eloquence, and keep pace with our winged words, while we are treading the solid earth and are liable to heavy dining."  Still I hope vintage readers of the Insatiable Critic in New York might be amused to see these vintage reviews. And perhaps newly arrived gourmands might be amused to discover our early obsessions. Many of the restaurants I loved or skewered or had high hopes for are gone. These older reviews are here for nostalgia or visitors in search of history. 

         If you have a favorite ancient critique you would like to see here email me.

   

 

1963-1969:

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A VOTE AGAINST MOTHERHOOD

January 26, 1963

I don’t want to have any children. Motherhood is only a part of marriage…

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BEHIND THE SCENES AT LE PAVILLON

April 1, 1964

There is a tiny kingdom where rivers flow champagne, where the mountains are made of caviar, where always it is spring and roses are forbidden to wilt. Reigning over this understandably smug monarchy is a shy, tense, stubborn and uncompromising Frenchman named Henri Soulé… more

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PAPA SOULÉ LOVES YOU

June 13, 1965

La Côte Basque Countdown: cinq, quatre, trios, deux…What a mess!  In quenelles-de-brochet-eating circles, it was like the return to the concert stage of Vladimir Horowitz.  Henry Soulé was making his historic comeback to La Côte Basque. Showman, snob, perfectionist, martinet, conman, wooer and wooed master of haute cuisine…  more

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PALEY'S PRESERVE: THE GROUND FLOOR

November 11, 1968

The Ground Floor is appropriately grand. It is slick, rich, calculating, spare, intimidating. It is Contemporary Wasp…the perfect place to end an affair... more

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THE QUINTESSENTIAL SOULÉ FOOD

November 25, 1968

At La Côte Basque the spirit of Henri Soulé still hovers: in the food and the wine, and in the air.  Electricity!  Drama!... more

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THE MENU RAP AND HOW TO BEAT IT

January 6, 1969

It takes cunning, discipline, poise and unjellied chutzpah to make a dent in the cost of haute dining, but it can be done…more

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STEAK AND BREW: PREMISSIVE GLUTTONY

Januray 27, 1969

The inexhaustible groaning board is a fine old American tradition...more

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THE MAFIA GUIDE TO DINING OUT

April 7, 1969

What is good for the Mafia is good for gourmet country. The Mafia is widely advanced as “the Michelin Guide for Italian Restaurants,” and a three-star police raid is... a tribute to the excellence of the kitchen...  more

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AND NOT A DROP TO DRINK

May 5, 1969

I mourn the needless prolonged neglect of a fine American dining traditions: water...more

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LA CARAVELLE: INSULT à LA CARTE

May 19, 1969

 

Someday a gourmet anthropologist will do a thesis on the Manhattan culture's painful rites of passage.  It will be called, "Coming of Age on West 55th Street..." more

 

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BROOKLYN COME HUNGRY

July 14, 1969

Eating in Brooklyn restoreth the soul. You can go home again. No matter how long and determined your exile, no matter how homogenized your diction, no matter how alienated your spirit. If you were born in Brooklyn or married into it, certain tastes instantly restoreth... more

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LA SEINE: THE RISEN PHOENIX BUILDS HER SPICY NEST

July 21, 1969

On the Ides of March, La Seine was born."They gave us a dead horse and told us to bring it into the Preakness," says maitre d' Martin Decre…” Everyone's fighting to get into La Seine. The names are dizzying: Parley, Roosevelt, Fairbanks, Burden, Loeb, Ribicoff, Mellon, Hoover (as in J. Edgar), the Duke and Duchess (one needn't ask which D&D)… more

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CAFE CHAUVERON AS LOVE OBJECT

September 22, 1969

Cafe Chauveron has long been the love object of my unadulterated great food passion. Great food alone, isolated from chic, ego indulgence, pampering or masochism... more

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FAR EAST BANQUET ON UPPER WEST

October 5, 1969

The taste of shark fin is not extraordinary…Still, you have to admire the artist who can make edible something so unpromising... more

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PLAYING THE CELEBRITY LUNCH GAME

November 10, 1969

"I don’t care who they are,” pooh-poohed M. Jacques Tiffeau, leering cozily at the dazzling frozen-in-silicone blonde two banquettes south...more

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THE CELLAR: THE HIGH-RISE HUNGRY

December 1, 1969

We’re the first stop for all the Beautiful People from Harlem on their way downtown…everyone stands around talking to everyone and feeling very liberal... more

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NOT SO QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

December 1, 1969

At last our home turf, the West Side, is breaking out with restaurant where we play our own minor-league status games... more

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HAUTE-MEAL FOR PAMELA 

December 22, 1969

I determined to borrow a sheltered, unformed, narrow-minded American child and transform her into an incurable gourmand… more

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