First Bite: The Writing Room Opens in Elaine's Space

By Beth Landman  |  January 8, 2014
Credit: Clay Williams

Legendary Elaine’s, a favorite of writers including Woody Allen, Norman Mailer and Gay Talese closed in 2011 after nearly 50 years, and the space was purchased by restaurateurs Michael and Susy Glick, who have reincarnated it as a regional American dining room that pays tribute to scribes.

The Decor: Over a hundred framed photos of authors, Elaine and her more notable patrons cover the walls of the main room, while a small area in the back, now dubbed “The Study’’, contains a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The bar room looks into an open kitchen and has fabric panels that diners are free to scribble thoughts on.

The Food: Chef Lucas Billheimer has come over from the Parlour Steakhouse, owned by the Glicks, to focus on broader offerings such as starters of roasted winter vegetable salad with lemon marmalade ($13); smoked white fish with caviar, house-made pickles and grilled caraway bread ($14) and baby back ribs with dry rub and apple butter bbq ($15); pastas like ravioli with Swiss chard, sheep’s milk ricotta and sunchoke puree ($12/$20), and entrees including grilled arctic char with sautéed baby kale, leeks, Meyer lemon and fingerling potato confit ($28); lobster boil of 1⁄2 Steamed Lobster, wild clams and red potatoes ($29); and veal meatloaf with whipped sweet potato and wild mushrooms ($26).

The Desserts: Warm apple pie for two ($19), huckleberry cheesecake cobbler with crème fraîche ice cream ($11), and funnel cake with Meyer lemon mousse ($10) are among the end-of meal temptations.

Music: Rock’ n’ roll with a smattering of funk

The Crowd: The Upper East Side social set, along with long time Elaine’s customers revisiting their old haunt, join a younger spillover from Penrose and Dorian's,

The Details: 1703 Second Ave.; 212-335-0075