Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Le Steak de Paris

[From Harold H. Hart’s Hart’s Guide to New York City (New York: Hart Publishing, 1964).]

One more from Maeve Brennan’s Manhattan: Le Steak de Paris. Brennan writes about this restaurant several times in The Long-Winded Lady, more than about any other. In a 1967 piece, she stops in for dinner and learns that the building has been slated for demolition and that the owner, unable to find a new location in the city, is planning to move Le Steak to Long Island. Brennan then describes the restaurant:

Inside, Le Steak has hardly changed in all the years I have been going there. The walls were once covered with printed-paper murals of rustic eighteenth-century scenes. Later there was red-brick-patterned wallpaper. Now the paper imitates polished wooden planks — vertical planks — and there is a cigarette machine where the jukebox that played French records used to be. But nothing has really changed there. The menu is much the same as always — Crème Jeannette, Poulet Rôti, Shrimps Cocktail, Artichaut Froid, and so on. Even the atmosphere is the same, as though finality had stayed where it belongs — out of sight and far away.
Le Steak de Paris must have lived a very quiet life in Manhattan: if the New York Times historical index (1851–2007) can be trusted, the paper has not one reference to the restaurant — which would mean no reviews and no advertisements. The 49th Street address, now part of a skyscraper, still houses a restaurant, City Lobster and Steak.

As for the telephone exchange, CI can mean only one thing: CIrcle.


May 8, 2017: Bobby Cole, a New Jersey historian, found a photograph of Le Steak de Paris. He’s active in the Facebook group Old Images of New York. Thank you, Bobby, for allowing me to share your find here:

[Click for a larger view.]

This photograph prompted me to take another look at the New York Times Historical Index, which now returns one article mentioning Le Steak de Paris. Here is a photograph of Guy l’Heureux, the restaurant’s owner, from a 1967 article about the many restaurants that were soon to be demolished to make way for another skyscraper. Said L’Heureux, “What can you do? C’est la vie.”

[“If Your Favorite Restaurant Is Near Sixth Avenue and 49th Street, Go to It Now or You May Be Too Late,” The New York Times, September 12, 1967.]

And here is a small ad that ran many times in the Times:

[October 10, 1966.]

“Dinner from $3.50”: I’m there.

comments: 4

tedgale said...

I thought, earlier this evening, "I cannot go to sleep until I find out about Le Steak de Paris". Thanks for sharing what you've discovered. Now I can go back to reading Mauve

Michael Leddy said...

You’re welcome. Her New York is one I’d love to have known firsthand.

gem said...

I just discovered a picture of my French grand father (Marcel Buzulier), as a "Mousse" at "Marine Nationale", taken in this steak house, during the war !

Michael Leddy said...

If you share this picture online, do let me know. Thanks!