Hilary Knight Around Town

The illustrious illustrator of Eloise has lived in Manhattan since 1932, which means that he has dined out approximately 28,000 times in his lifetime. That kind of experience teaches you a thing or two about eating and drinking establishments, so join Hilary Knight on a virtual walking tour of six New York classics.

Café des Artistes

This opulent French café opened in 1917 inside the Hotel des Artistes, on 67th Street and Central Park West. Seventeen years later, Howard Chandler Christy, an artist who lived upstairs, bought the restaurant and decorated its walls with nymphs, who frolicked unclad among the diners until this past August, when Café des Artistes ended its long and glorious run.

The Oyster Bar

Grand Central Terminal opened in Midtown in 1913, and with it was born the storied Oyster Bar. The main hall is a capital place to enjoy a lunch of oyster stew, and the smaller adjoining saloon attracts an after-work crowd intent on slurping raw mollusks and sipping martinis. Even those who haven’t visited the restaurant, which was designed by Whitney Warren in the Beaux Arts style and redone after a 1997 fire, may recognize it as the backdrop for cast shots during Saturday Night Live’s opening credits.


Bill’s—also known as Bill’s Gay Nineties—sits in a town house on East 54th Street between Madison and Park Avenues. The titular Bill Hardy opened the bar as a Prohibition-era speakeasy, where he featured Gay Nineties—as in 1890s—entertainment, dancing, and drinking. Purchased by the Bart family in the 1960s, Bill’s thrives today as a place where colorful locals and curious tourists alike can imbibe to the accompaniment of a real, live piano man.

The Monkey Bar

Today renowned as a sophisticated dining room (co-owned by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter) that has helped revive Midtown, the Monkey Bar, part of the Hotel Elysée, was once a home away from home to Tallulah, Truman, and Tennessee. Since 1926, the restaurant (situated directly across the street from Bill’s, conveniently enough for nightcap enthusiasts) has fed some of the world’s most glamorous—and notorious—souls.



~ by jennylilbit on November 30, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: