August 25, 2011
HEIDELBERG RESTAURANT / RECOMMENDED
1648 2nd Avenue
Any restaurant where you can hear Lilli Marlene is alright with me.  One of the best places Miss and I have found here, Heidelberg, like its amazing neighbor, the German grocery store Schaller & Weber, is a remnant of Yorkville’s past as home to a substantial number of German-speaking immigrants.  The emphasis here is on sausage and (Bavarian?) beer.  Waitstaff wear lederhosen.
The crowd is more cosmopolitan than the typical UES bar crowd.  On a recent visit I befriended a Frenchman, a Yank, two Germans and a handful of Mongolians.  
It should be noted, that as of this writing, all things German seem to be having their moment in the New York gastrosphere -  hip Brooklyn joints like Prime Meats in Carroll Gardens and Der Kommissar in South Park Slope focus on the pork-heavy cuisine of the Alpine region - something Heidelberg has been at for decades.  Some clever marketing and minor changes (printing new menus on nicer paperstock for example) might get Heidelberg the attention it deserves from blushing fans of those new kids on the block.  

HEIDELBERG RESTAURANT / RECOMMENDED

1648 2nd Avenue

Any restaurant where you can hear Lilli Marlene is alright with me.  One of the best places Miss and I have found here, Heidelberg, like its amazing neighbor, the German grocery store Schaller & Weber, is a remnant of Yorkville’s past as home to a substantial number of German-speaking immigrants.  The emphasis here is on sausage and (Bavarian?) beer.  Waitstaff wear lederhosen.

The crowd is more cosmopolitan than the typical UES bar crowd.  On a recent visit I befriended a Frenchman, a Yank, two Germans and a handful of Mongolians.  

It should be noted, that as of this writing, all things German seem to be having their moment in the New York gastrosphere -  hip Brooklyn joints like Prime Meats in Carroll Gardens and Der Kommissar in South Park Slope focus on the pork-heavy cuisine of the Alpine region - something Heidelberg has been at for decades.  Some clever marketing and minor changes (printing new menus on nicer paperstock for example) might get Heidelberg the attention it deserves from blushing fans of those new kids on the block.  

August 24, 2011
ELAINE’S / CLOSED
1703 2nd Avenue.
During its final week in business, Miss and I decided to enjoy a couple of drinks at the bar of this august establishment.  It was our first time inside.  Like most of the people with us that evening, we had come in because the New York Times had just reported that after almost fifty years in business Elaine’s would be closing due to “financial reality”.  Apparently the cost of doing business had become too high.  In light of this, I was all the more shocked that the bill for our drinks totaled $56.  A place that gets $14 for cramming a bit of Jameson with ginger ale, ice cubes, straw and a lemon wedge into what appeared to be an eight ounce highball glass, but nevertheless must close due to “financial reality”, is doing something very wrong, I thought.  
Still, we were sad to see the neighborhood losing such a famous spot.  Since Miss had moved here, we had yet to find many places worth going back to, let alone telling anyone about, and here was one that was at least interesting.  Elaine’s was old New York, and looked it, and despite the stiff drink prices, we might have come back.  
The irony is that this old fashioned, old New York restaurant, survived for so long through so many decades, only to close at the very moment looking authentically old fashioned, and old New York, was all the rage. 

ELAINE’S / CLOSED

1703 2nd Avenue.

During its final week in business, Miss and I decided to enjoy a couple of drinks at the bar of this august establishment.  It was our first time inside.  Like most of the people with us that evening, we had come in because the New York Times had just reported that after almost fifty years in business Elaine’s would be closing due to “financial reality”.  Apparently the cost of doing business had become too high.  In light of this, I was all the more shocked that the bill for our drinks totaled $56.  A place that gets $14 for cramming a bit of Jameson with ginger ale, ice cubes, straw and a lemon wedge into what appeared to be an eight ounce highball glass, but nevertheless must close due to “financial reality”, is doing something very wrong, I thought.  

Still, we were sad to see the neighborhood losing such a famous spot.  Since Miss had moved here, we had yet to find many places worth going back to, let alone telling anyone about, and here was one that was at least interesting.  Elaine’s was old New York, and looked it, and despite the stiff drink prices, we might have come back.  

The irony is that this old fashioned, old New York restaurant, survived for so long through so many decades, only to close at the very moment looking authentically old fashioned, and old New York, was all the rage. 

August 23, 2011
The Road to Yorkville

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After more than a year in Park Slope, circumstances conspired to compel your blogger to remove to the abode of his petit ami situate in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, more specifically, in a neighborhood known as Yorkville.  The situation is temporary, as neither he, nor Miss, as she shall hereinafter be called, have even the slightest intention of remaining there beyond the expiry of her present lease in November.  Nonetheless, your blogger means to make the most of things, and along the way share his observations of this curious enclave, its denizens, cuisine and other distinctive qualities so that they may be of use to his fellow creatures.