Though it may be New York’s 40th anniversary, 1968 was a rough year: the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the Tet Offensive, riots in Newark and Detroit. But one area no one could complain about was food in New York, as this week’s anniversary issue attests. Gael Greene, who was then — as now — a potent force in the city’s restaurant culture, conjures up one of the era’s most vivid restaurant scenes at Orsini’s, complete with a cast ranging from Yul Brynner to Porfirio Rubirosa, the era’s greatest playboy. Rob and Robin, scoping out the city’s treats circa 1968, find everything from Japanese raw-fish sandwiches called “sushi” to quenelles at La Côte Basque. And, in a fitting tribute to an era when “fine dining” meant French food, a recipe for “ze Soufflé” at La Grenouille.
The good old days.