Holiday Themed Restaurants Rolf’s and Delmonico’s Gear Up for Big Season

| 25 Nov 2023 | 05:31

Holiday spirit all year–Winter holiday season’s here. Diwali’s just passed. Chanukah and Christmas are coming up. Restaurants are high-five-ing with holiday-related menus. At Rolf’s German restaurant in Gramercy (22nd St. and 3rd Ave.), it’s Christmas-themed all through the year but the lines are forming now that the season outside coincides with decorations inside with a gazillion Christmas lights and ornaments adorning the entire restaurant with icicles all strung and filtered throughout the restaurant along with dozens, maybe more, porcelain dolls, wreaths, and other festive decorations. It’s a wonderland. And, during the calendar Christmas season, from the bar comes a terrific Christmas Smoothie cocktail made with vanilla cinnamon and a splash of Goldschlager. The menu is traditional German/Bavarian. There’s an eminently shareable cold or a hot sausage platter with every manner of wurst and traditional sides. Cheers, Zum Wohl!

Less decorated, but equally upbeat, is the recently re-opened Delmonico’s, still in it original building at the intersection of Beaver and William streets in FiDi. It’s been there since 1837 and has aged really well, even if it did have to survive a conentious lawsuit for control that was started and settled before COVID-19 swept the nation in 2020 and forced the iconic restaurant to close and layoff its staff of 120 people. But now it is back! The menu, the service, the attention to detail is a joy to behold while you’re dining among the rich, the famous, everyday New Yorkers, tourists, and just plain locals. Dress is every manner of attire, some of which may have kept them out in 1837, and maybe as recently as 15 years ago. Not today. Everyone’s welcome. Delmonico’s recently reopened for lunch. Their three-course Thanksgiving menu was a combination of traditional and new fixings as well as their classic Baked Alaska. For a little pizzaz, there was a Bourbon Baked Alaska on the menu.

Rolf’s - telephone reservations only for December 26th to January 2024. 212 477-4750

Delmonico’s - 212 381-1237 - lunch/dinner/holiday

Theater talk–East Side theater company Break a Leg Productions (BAL) is presenting “Delicate Particle Logic,” by Jennifer Blackmer, on Thursday, November 30th at 7:30 PM at The City College, Shepard Hall, Room 291, 138th Street and Convent Avenue. The play is another reading in BAL’s “The Art of Science Reading Series” and is being directed by Teri Black, BAL’s Founder and Artistic Director. As an actor, Teri has played a wide range of roles in theater and film, including “Small Time Crooks” with Woody Allen, and has done voice vvers. As part of the Science Reading Series, she directed “Synchronicity,” about psychoanalyst Dr. Carl Jung and his relationship with his famous patient physicist Wolfgang Pauli. On January 10, 2024, Teri will be appearing in “The Half Life of Marie Curie,” by Lauren Gunderson who will be playing Hertha Ayrton, a British engineer, suffragette and colleague of Marie Curie. It will be performed at CUNY Graduate Center and sponsored by Hunter College.

BAL, is a 501(c) (3) tax exempt organization and performs at various venues throughout Manhattan, New York, and beyond. Admission is free. BAL has a Matching Gift Program and donations are welcome. Note: I have been a supporter of BAL for over 20 years and am presently a member of their Literary Committee. I first saw them perform at the New York Public Library on East 79th St.

Miss/Ms. Marmelstein redux–When I was offered a ticket to “I Can Get It For You Wholesale” at Classic Stage Company, I quickly agreed. It was a trip down memoir lane since I saw the original with Barbra Streisand as Miss Marmelstein in the “1962 musical about family and faith, greed and gratitude, fantasy and pragmatism,” as described in the show’s flyer and as I was about to read Streisand’s memoir. While there’s no index in the hefty tome, there is a Table of Contents letting you know that Miss Marmelstein’s role in Streisand’s life starts on page 85. The original “Wholesale” book is based on Jerome Weidman’s novel with revisions by his son John Weidman. The show and performances were terrific. Harry (Heshey) Bogen, the lead character, is one of the early anti-heroes to be portrayed and was probably quite daring back in the 1960s. Now, forget about it. We see it all the time–from JR Ewing played by the late Larry Hagman in the late 70s to 80s prime time soap drama to Jersey mafia head Tony Soprano played by the late James Gandolfini in the HBO series “The Soprano’s that ran from 1999 to 2007 (some say maybe Donald Trump fits the bill?). I’m not sure that I remembered or expected the production to be so unabashedly Jewish in flavor and tone. It was fitting and touching. And for those of us who remember the Garment Center, the highs and lows of the dress business, and the wheeling-dealing garmentos, will find themselves smiling.

Passings–Condolences to Judge Dan Quart and family on the passing of his father Irving Quart. Prior to taking the bench in NY County, Dan represented the 73rd Assembly District. And condolences to Democrat District Leader Louise Dankberg on the passing of her husband former Judge Jay Dankberg. May their memories be a blessing.