AN EVENING AT MONKEY BAR
I finally made it to The Monkey Bar. What a coincidence: I dined at the latest incarnation of The Monkey Bar in the same week as the New York Times published an article about such restaurants, titled, “A Vision of the City as It Once Was”. There is a zeitgeist in the New York restaurant world right now, and I’ve been thinking about it hard; it looks like I am not the only one.
In a time when many of the old-time restaurants are dying or being killed off, restaurateurs and would-be restaurateurs are suffering pangs of nostalgia for the old days, or, more importantly, what they think the old days were, or should have been. The Plaza’s Oak Room, Minetta Tavern, Waverly Inn and, the reason for the article, the Lion, are all loving re-creations of days-gone-by.
“Gentrification over the past quarter-century has killed so many old dinner spots,” Graydon Carter was quoted in the article. “I think it’s important to give people an alternative to the chic place-of-the-moment look so prevalent with new ones.”
So, I got all gussied up and swanned into the Monkey Bar last week. After walking through the spacious bar and lounge, I was greeted by a handsome, flop-haired young man (25 years old, I’d say), who was exceedingly happy to see me. It turns out that he’s the son of the actor Peter Coyote, and he’s full of charm.