Armando Orsini, Restaurateur and ‘Playboy Prince of Pasta,’ Has Died

A re-creation of Orsini's scene, back in the day.
A re-creation of Orsini's scene, back in the day. Photo: Wes Duvall for New York Magazine; Photos: Phillip Ennis/Courtesy of Samuel Botero for Samuel Botero Assoc. (Orsini's); Ron Galella/Wireimage (Bergen and Vanderbilt); Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images (Mastroianni); Graham Stark/Hulton Arc

The Times reports that Armando Orsini, who with his brother opened Orsini’s on West 56th Street, has died at the age of 88. With its two-level candlelit dining room chockablock with VIP tables, the restaurant was a celebrity scene throughout the fifties and sixties: Gael Greene wrote in 1968 that Oscar de la Renta had carpaccio with olive oil and lemon; and Marylou Whitney had Parmesan grated tableside. Greene called Orsini the “Playboy Prince of Pasta,” noting in a short article that, even after working her way through scampi and veal parmigiana, food wasn’t really the point at Orsini’s. “The point I’m making about my beloved Orsini’s is, it doesn’t matter what the menu says,” she wrote. “Is there something you want?” [New York Times; Earlier]