Magazine article The New Yorker

Cafe Sabarsky;

Magazine article The New Yorker

Cafe Sabarsky;

Article excerpt

1048 Fifth Ave., at 86th St. (212-288-0665)--The Mittel-European flavor of East Eighty-sixth Street, Yorkville's main drag, turned middle-American years ago, when the old German cafes and Konditoreis gave way to stores selling sneakers and cell phones, but anyone who's homesick for the Kaiser, as Joseph Roth might have said, can relish a kind of restoration at Cafe Sabarsky. The cafe is on the ground floor of the Neue Galerie, the three-year-old museum of early-twentieth-century German and Austrian art that occupies a grand Beaux-Arts mansion at Eighty-sixth Street's swanky Fifth Avenue end. The space, modelled on a fin-de-siecle Viennese Kaffeehaus, is stately and period-perfect, with wood-panelled walls, Josef Hoffman fixtures, Adolf Loos chairs, and a selection of Austrian newspapers. Sometimes, in the evenings, a pianist plays Strauss. Children are barred from the museum but permitted in the restaurant, where something in the air--a vestigial memory of Captain Von Trapp's whistle, perhaps, or the promise of schlag--compels them to behave, in a seen-and-not-heard kind of way.

Kurt Gutenbrunner, the chef and owner of Wallse, a Viennese restaurant downtown, runs the kitchen, which turns out slim, delicate renditions of traditional Austrian cuisine. …

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