Hilary Knight Around Town

Vanity Fair November 2009
Café des Artistes
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.

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The Oyster Bar
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

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Le Périgord
Le Périgord

Of all these places, Le Périgord is the newcomer, having “just” opened in 1964. (In those days, Greta Garbo lived across the street.) The restaurant straddles Beekman and Sutton Places, where it serves the neighborhood oeufs à la neige (also known as floating islands, a delicate dessert of poached meringue and vanilla custard in almond cream).

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Café des Artistes
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.

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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.