Tell Us What You Ate When You First Came to New York

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Prince Egon and Diane Von Furstenberg<br> contemplate their next dinner party.
Prince Egon and Diane Von Furstenberg contemplate their next dinner party. Photo: Getty Images

In the magazine this week, we approached several notable New Yorkers about their early days in the city. The struggles and bad apartments are nice and all, but we just want to hear about the food. Below, memories from Diane Von Furstenberg, Padma Lakshmi, Keith Hernandez, and more.

Keith Hernandez, 1983: “I really got into the restaurants. You know, you could do a ball game and then still have dinner after. At eleven! That doesn’t happen in the Midwest. Fanelli’s, Palladium, Chin Chin, Smith & Wollensky, Lutèce…”

Cindy Sherman, 1977: “We’d head to the 24-hour diner on Broadway and Canal Street called Dave’s and get egg creams.”

Diane Von Furstenberg, 1970: “It was a movable feast: Gino’s and Elaine’s and La Grenouille. And I threw many dinner parties. What I remember clearly is that you could go to the supermarket and for 50 dollars you could buy pasta, salad, and a big ham.”

Ira Glass, 1984: “I remember walking by the Dallas Barbecue on the northeast side of Washington Square Park. I would look at people eating in the restaurant and think to myself, someday I’ll be able to afford to eat in a place like that.”

Albert Hammond Jr., 1998: “At first we didn’t go out anywhere cool — just Rudy’s, which was near the studio and had free hot dogs and $5 pitchers.”

Padma Lakshmi, 1974: “Looking back, I’m amazed how much we ate street food. My perfect meal would be a pretzel with mustard and then an Italian ice. I was a vegetarian for a lot of my childhood, so I would order a hot dog but tell him to leave the hot dog out—just the bun and the fixings, like sauerkraut and mustard and relish.”

Be sure to check out more stories from David Chang and Danny Meyer. Leave your own recollections in the comments.

Tell Us What You Ate When You First Came to New York