Thursday, April 30, 2009

Café des Artistes

Café des Artistes
1 West 67th Street; 212-877-3500
Open seven days a week, lunch 11 to 3 pm and dinner 5 to 11pm.
$35 three-course prix-fixe dinner offered year round.
Business casual attire (jackets not required for men).

This legendary café, built in 1917, has been a long-time New York favorite, lauded over the years as enchanting, romantic, and transforming. It invokes old world elegance, in part attributable to the famous 1934 murals of female nudes frolicking in the woods and a location in a prewar hotel just off Central Park. This gothic building was created to house artists' studios, and luminaries such as Noel Coward, Norman Rockwell, Isadora Duncan, and Gary Oldman have all resided here. The café functioned as a dining room and kitchen for residents.

The six murals are the work of Howard Chandler Christy, an illustrator and portrait painter who was a resident of the hotel in which the café was housed. His fame spanned the entire first half of the twentieth century. The Café celebrates the murals with cocktails named after them. Two are "The Fountain of Youth" (Poire William scented champagne with spiced pear) and "Swing Girl" (Corazón Tequila, orange liquor and pineapple juice).

The restaurant caters to a mature clientele in a location convenient to Lincoln Center.

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