Magazine article The New Yorker

Goings on about Town

Magazine article The New Yorker

Goings on about Town

Article excerpt

33 W. 55th St. (586-4252)--"It isn't pretty," a young woman said to her older male companion, as she gazed at the quenelles de brochet homardine--two pike dumplings half-submerged in a lobster sauce the color of an endangered river. "Well, food didn't use to be pretty," her friend replied. "Once upon a time, people were pretty." He was referring to La Caravelle's heyday, back in the sixties, when regulars with names like Windsor, Paley, and Kennedy were too busy observing one another to comment on the appearance of the restaurant's signature dish. At lunch the other day, only a few elegant fossils of that better-turned-out period graced the beige banquettes in the entranceway. Instead, midtown professionals without ties or casually dressed couples in their early thirties sat on the main floor in mostly cowed silence, amidst the Dufy-like murals of Parisian parks and the imperturbable flow of waiters removing silver lids and deboning fish.

But despite those quenelles (as ethereal yet shockingly rich as ever) and a few other old-timers such as Dover sole with mustard sauce, La Caravelle's menu has moved with the times. …

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