The story of the two men who first opened the Cafe’ Edison and the hotel in Times Square is the stuff Broadway plays are written about. Cafe’ Edison’s Harry Edelstein and the Edison Hotel’s original owner, Ulo Barad, met in Warsaw–both survivors of the Holocaust. The rental agreement between the two men for the cafe consisted of a handshake between two good friends. The cafe’ never had a real lease. Although the cafe’ and hotel are still in the hands of the same two families, that relationship came to an end this past weekend.
It’s been a while since our last Untapped Mailbag in which we answer questions from readers, submitted via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail. But we received quite a challenge from reader Hanna, who wanted to know which restaurant was featured in the season 1 finale of Broad City on Comedy Central. Nearly the entire episode, entitled “The Last Supper,” takes place in inside, where the main characters Abbi and Ilana head to the fictional “Octavia,” a fancy restaurant for Abbi’s birthday. Ilana gets a near fatal allergy to seafood and Abbi accidentally injects herself with the Epipen. We usually send these queries to our team at Untapped Cities and collectively try to hunt down answers.
Last night, we headed to Finback Brewery for the Untapped Cities Holiday Happy Hour and Tour, a reader suggestion from our piece on the top microbreweries in NYC. Finback’s tasting room in Glendale, Queens is a hidden gem. You’d never guess from the street (unless it’s summer and they have the garage door open) there that there would be a warm and inviting bar and beer hall inside this nondescript warehouse building tucked within a residential neighborhood.
As you may have caught with some of our behind-the-scenes photographs, the United Nations recently underwent a huge renovation–the first since the complex on Manhattan’s East Side opened in 1952. Quietly reopening, and as under-the-radar as it has always been, was the United Nations Delegates Dining Room in the General Assembly Building. Unlike what its name suggests, the restaurant is also open to the public (non delegates) with advance reservation. The buffet format at the Dining Room means that you’ll be brushing past and sitting amidst ambassadors, dignitaries and delegates, all while taking in impressive views of the East River, Roosevelt Island and Long Island City.
Maille, the French vinegar purveyor has been around longer than the United States has been a country, but they just opened up their first shop in America on Columbus Avenue and 68th Street, and it has mustard on tap. Maille, founded in 1747 in Dijon has served as the official supplier to King Louis XV of France, Queen Victoria, Catherine II of Russia and King William IV of England.
Adding to our growing list of NYC spots that only sell one thing, we love this latest addition to the LES bakery/pastry scene, Les Jardins de la Duchesse on the Lower East side that focuses on the éclair. They opened last Monday, the 1st of December, and so far have 6 unique flavors of sweet éclairs and 4 kinds of savory.