Any else old enough to have been subjected to a steady diet of Billy Joel songs on the radio will recognize the lyric in the title of this post. Forty six years after Elaine's opened, Cheryl and I finally went, guests of George (last mentioned in this post, though we also saw him a couple of weeks ago at a brunch at his place in Brooklyn). My advice: if you want to go to say you went, have a drink at the bar and then head somewhere else for dinner. You can get better Italian food for half the price at Maggiano's1. I was hungry though, so I finished off a plate of penne carbonara, which is sitting like a brick in my belly as I write this. One nice touch: after we settled up, the manager offered a digestif on the house, so I had a Macallan for the road.
1Maybe Elaine's is still good for spotting celebrities, if that floats your boat, but we didn't recognize anyone famous there tonight. We did once see Danny Aiello at the Hackensack Maggiano's once though. Cheryl thought it was odd that an Italian who was in Moonstruck would eat at an outpost of a chain Italian restaurant where neither the chef nor the manager are Italian (judging by their last names). Then again, neither Moonstruck's director nor its great screenwriter -- nor its two Oscar-winning actresses -- were Italians either.