Tavern on the green~
Tavern on the green has been one of those Iconic New York city restaurants, since, 1934.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From 1934, the landmark restaurant was managed by restaurateurs licensed by the City of New York’s Park Department. In 1943 Arnold Schleifer and his nephews, Arthur Schleifer and Julius Berman, won the contract to operate the restaurant. During their tenure, the dance floor was enlarged and nightly music was enjoyed. A large outdoor patio offered dining al fresco. Trees were first wrapped in the well-known twinkling lights around the property, and the Elm Tree Room was built to surround one of the city’s classic American elms. The menu was designed to be elegant but affordable for New Yorkers. Luncheon and dinner offerings changed regularly, and Mr. Berman would often add special desserts to celebrate family events, e.g., “Parfait Ruth” to honor the birth of his granddaughter.
The Berman-Schleifer family ran numerous restaurants they owned and other New York City concessions. Among these were the venues at Orchard Beach, the Claremont Inn (1934–1948) in Riverside Park, accessed from Riverside Drive, United Nations Caterers, Manny Wolf’s 49th Street Chop House on Third Avenue, and New York City’s first air-conditioned restaurant, Schleifer’s Fashion Center on 7th Avenue.
In 1956, the infamous Battle of Central Park, a scandal instrumental in the eventual downfall of Robert Moses, occurred over Moses’ attempt to expand the Tavern’s parking lot by half an acre. The event is chronicled in Robert Caro‘s The Power Broker.
In 1974, Warner LeRoy took over the restaurant’s lease and reopened it in 1976 after $10 million in renovations including the addition of a glass enclosed Crystal Room overlooking the restaurant’s garden (one of several dining rooms), which doubled the seating capacity to 800. According to city officials it was illegal but the city, wanting the restaurant expanded at a time when the city was having its own financial problems, did not stop the expansion. Since LeRoy’s death in 2001, it was managed by his daughter, Jennifer Oz LeRoy, until its renovation in 2009.
Tavern on the Green was frequented by prominent actors, musicians, politicians, and writers. Regular patrons have included former New York City Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, actresses Grace Kelly and Fay Wray and many others. Tavern on the Green hosted the wedding receptions of several prominent Americans, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler and film director Walter Hill. John Lennon was a neighbor to Warner LeRoy and his son, Sean, was a playmate of Warner LeRoy’s son, Max LeRoy. As a result, John and Sean celebrated numerous birthdays at Tavern on the Green during the late 1970s.
The opening party was stellar and we were so grateful to attend. The food was delicious and the whose who of the food industry attended. The new folks we are now running the restaurant, just could not get their act together and made some very poor hiring choices of chefs. This is NOT to say the chefs that ran the kitchen from 2014 are not good, it is just a monster of a kitchen and you really need someone who understands volume.
They finally got it right and hired a true veteran, Bill Peet, who was most recently executive chef of Urbo, a massive Times Square restaurant, and an alum of Lutèce, was named chef of the Central.
On our last visit to the restaurant in June, we had a wonderful meal. It was a special occasion, the celebration of my father in laws birthday. The service was spot on and the food was simple and delicious.
The iceberg wedge was delicious and so was the New York Strip.
Everybody needs a second chance, so go to The Tavern on the Green and enjoy!