Goodbye, Tavern on the Green

It seems that one of New York City's landmarks is set to close. Tavern on the Green, the epitome of NYC's old-school, fine dining restaurants, aptly located in Central Park, has filed for bankruptcy, according to this article in the New York Times. It will close its doors on New Year's Eve.

I was lucky enough to have eaten at Tavern several times, as a young lady brought into the city on day trips with the other ladies in my family. These were special treats, funded by my self-employed, hard-working father who had no interest in going to the city, but knew his girls loved it. Sometimes it was just my mother and I, then, as my sister grew older, she came along, and sometimes so did grandma (mom's mom) and an aunt or two (mom's sisters). Almost always the trips were around the holidays, so we could see New York's shop windows in all their festive finery. There was window shopping, real shopping, and usually a show, on Broadway, at Radio City, or at Lincoln Center. And, almost always, we luncheoned (for that's what ladies do) at Tavern on the Green.

I forwarded the article to my mother and sister and we passed emails describing memories of our visits to Tavern. My mom recalls a raspberry Charlotte russe dessert that made her want to lick the plate (she didn't of course). I remember feeling decadent (and quite important, thank you!) when I placed an order for French Toast that cost $12 (it was the early 1980's and that seemed like a lot of money for French toast!). It was the first time I had French toast that wasn't made from white sandwich bread but with challah, and, besides learning what challah bread is, I realized how fabulous French toast could be. All of us laughed when we remembered the time we were sitting in the
Crystal Room, looking out at Central Park in all its glory - the trees changing color, the squirrels building their nests. It was only after we finished eating and left that my mother told us that those squirrels were actually rats. But even that is a fond memory, one we always mention when we talk about "those trips." And my sister, well, she is mostly just disappointed, for Tavern is a part of our childhood that she won't be able to share with her daughter.

Goodbye, Tavern on the Green. Thanks for the memories.

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