7. Cafe Luxembourg (1983)
Cafe Luxembourg on 200 West 70th Street serves zucchini fries with a Yuzu-garlic aoili alongside other ingenious dishes. The cafe was opened as a French bistro in 1983 by husband-wife restauranteur duo Lynn Wagennecht and Keith McNally after finding success in their earlier downtown restaurant ventures Odeon and Cafe Cluny. On most of the restaurant’s merchandise, including their gift cards and towels, a black and white photograph of three naked Parisian women occupies the focal point. The iconic photograph was taken by Brassaï, a street photographer famous for capturing Parisian nightlife in the early 1930’s.
Cafe Luxembourg describes its atmosphere as “Art Deco,” a movement in decorative art emerging out of Paris in the mid 1920’s. Art Deco plays on elegance and traditionalism by giving life practical objects with artistic flare. The restaurant honors this design tradition with elegant Jean Perzel lighting fixtures throughout the restaurant. The carefully curated design of the restaurant sets up an elegant backdrop for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as it does in the 1989 filmWhen Harry Met Sally as the site for a very awkward double-date between Harry, Sally, and two of their friends.
Next, check out 15 of the oldest restaurants in New York City.