In 2017, the self-taught, Brooklyn-based artist John Donohue started drawing restaurants across the five boroughs. A former editor at The New Yorker, Donohue credits James Gulliver Hancock’s All the Buildings in New York and Jason Polan’s Every Person in New York as two of his inspirations. He draws strictly from life in ink (no working from photographs or drawing in pencil and erasing) and typically spends about 20 minutes on each drawing.
His first book, 2019’s All the Restaurants in New York, features 100 restaurants in New York City’s five boroughs, ranging from historic spots like Bemelmans Bar and Delmonico’s to newer favorites like Buvette and Carbone. The restaurants he draws run the gamut from Michelin-starred temples to haute cuisine like Daniel to slice joints like Joe’s Pizza.
After publishing his book about New York, he knew where he had to head next—Paris. French food has long been nearly synonymous with fine dining since it was invented, and the word “restaurant” is even French in origin, coming from restaurer, which means “to restore.” Donohue finds drawing very therapeutic, restoring his sense of well-being, much like a good meal does for others. The result was A Table in Paris, which came out earlier this year and collects more than a hundred drawings of fabled eateries in the City of Light.
On November 16 at 12 p.m., join Donohue as he retraces his steps in New York City and the French capital and shares tips about immersing oneself in each city. Explore the visual contrasts between New York and Paris streets. Learn the nuances that separate a Bistro from a Brasserie (as well as from a Bullion and a Cave a Manger). Discover how to save on fine dining (opt for lunch instead of dinner). Learn how the artist’s work at home differs from when abroad. See how drawing reduces stress and increases executive function. The event is free for Untapped New York Insiders (and get your first month free with code JOINUS).
Sketching the Restaurants of NYC & Paris with John Donohue
Next, read about the 15 oldest restaurants in New York City!