Eat & Educate…

Al Hirschfeld Exhibit at NY Historical Society
Al Hirschfeld Exhibit at NY Historical Society

Culture and delectable cuisine.

Now that makes for a perfect Friday date night.

Lobby, NY Historical Society
Lobby, NY Historical Society

I have wanted to peruse the New-York Historical Society for a long time. The cultural institution is dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions.

Founded in 1804, New-York Historical is the oldest museum in New York City.

Al Hirschfeld Self Portrait
Al Hirschfeld Self Portrait

When I read that the museum was holding an Al Hirschfeld exhibit, I knew it was the perfect time to engage.

Diane Keaton, Woody Allen
Diane Keaton, Woody Allen

Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003) drew the caricatures for the Sunday New York Times Arts & Leisure section for decades.

Whoopie Goldberg
Whoopie Goldberg

Hirschfeld brought a distinct style to celebrity drawings, making his work instantly recognizable. To be “Hirschfelded” was a sign that a performer had arrived.

The exhibition of over 100 original works includes many highlights from Hirschfeld’s prolific career with a special emphasis on the New York Times where he was a contributor for over seven decades.

Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters

For most of my life, I awaited the Sunday paper with bated breath so that I could examine the latest Hirschfeld drawing and then zoom in on locating his daughter’s NINA name written on the lower righthand corner of each drawing.

Hirschfeld would sign each one with the single name, NINA and then place a number by her name, indicating how many NINA’s you had to locate hidden within the drawing.

I became very proficient at the game and when my daughter, Courtny, was old enough to get with the game, she became addicted, as well.

Tommy Tune
Tommy Tune

Hirschfeld drew his first caricature in 1926. The exhibit displayed many of his works from 1960’s to 2003 when he penned his final portrait of Tommy Tune.

Tiffany Lamp Exhibit
Tiffany Lamp Exhibit

There was also an impressive Tiffany lamp display.

The museum is located in a stunning building on Central Park West and also houses the impressive Patricia D. Klingenstein library.

Pablo Picasso, Le Tricorne
Pablo Picasso, Le Tricorne

There is even a newly acquired and conserved Picasso on display. ‘Le Tricorne’ is the first work by Picasso to enter the New-York Historical’s collection.

Pablo Picasso painted the stage curtain for the two-act ballet, The Three-Cornered Hat. The ballet and curtain were commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev for his avant-garde, Paris-based Ballets Russes, the most influential ballet company of the twentieth-century.

photo:Stephen Somerstein
photo:Stephen Somerstein

Also of note on display is the, Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein.

Caffe Storico
Caffe Storico

We then proceeded to dine at the impressive restaurant in the museum, Caffe Storico from the Stephen Starr group.

Stephen Starr, the Philadelphia restaurateur who also owns the new Clocktower Restaurant as well as Buddakan and Morimoto in Manhattan, runs this restaurant in the renovated New-York Historical Society.

The bright white high ceiling dining room, with marble tables and touches of butter yellow, has shelves that display an array of commemorative plates from the museum’s collection.

Caffe Storico Bar
Caffe Storico Bar

We waited for our table at the bar and had the pleasure of meeting the lovely bartender, LaTae.

Sorico Lemonade
Sorico Lemonade

David selected the Storico lemonade made with Ryka vodka, St. Germaine, lemon and basil ($12).

I ordered a pleasing Lambrusco Pinot Noir Brut Rose ($11).

We were fortunate enough to have LaTae as our server and followed her lead.

Burrata & Peas
Burrata & Peas

We started with burrata and peas ($15). The burrata was creamy and the peas were a refreshing addition.

Fluke Crudo
Fluke Crudo

The fluke crudo was delicate and tasty ($14).

Lobster Raviolo
Lobster Ravioli

Our main was the evening’s special, lobster ravioli perfectly prepared in a light lobster broth.

Grilled Asparagus
Grilled Asparagus

We also ordered delicious grilled asparagus with an airy Bernaise sauce accented with grilled lemon ($12).

IMG_9918

LaTae generously brought over an amazingly decadent dessert, dripping in hot fudge and nuts.

The charming Italian restaurant also features a wonderful array of antipasti and artisanal pastas.

Caffe Storico is definitely a destination in our ‘hood…delicious food in a charming setting with an entertaining and educational side dish.

New-York Historical Society 170 Central Park West at 77th Street. Open Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday 10am-6pm, Friday’s 10am-8pm, Sunday’s 11am-5pm, Closed Monday. Admission free on Friday’s between 6-8pm. General admission $19.

Caffe Storico 170 Central Park West at 77th Street. Brunch-Saturday and Sunday: 11am–3pm, Lunch-
Tuesday–Friday: 11am–3:30pm, Late Afternoon- Tuesday–Friday: 3:30pm–5pm, Saturday and Sunday: 3pm–5pm, Dinner open Tuesday–Thursday: 5pm–10pm, Friday and Saturday: 5pm–10pm , Sunday: 5pm–10pm. Closed on Monday.

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