Fine dining in the United States, especially in New York, became popular decades ago. You can still find century-old establishments that are quintessential to New York, such as Delmonico’s, the first fine dining restaurant in the US; the opulent Italian Barbetta; La Granouilee with its haute French cuisine; and one of Manhattan’s oldest steakhouses, Keens Steakhouse.
These classic establishments transport one to a bygone era of luxury and elegance, ballroom dances, and beautiful music playing in the background. It was an era when one’s status was of prime importance and when huge deals were sealed with a handshake.
New York fine dining was as much about the ambiance as the food. From the dark wood paneling to the leather seats to the velvet custom curtains and monogrammed silverware, the setting was ideal for any event. The Board Rooms were for power brokers; the private rooms for intimate family gatherings or a date.
But the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown have challenged this industry. Restaurant owners are trying any measure to survive, such as outdoor dining. But winter has emptied these spaces.
The New York government has taken draconian measures that have hurt small businesses but have allowed big business chains to thrive. The City That Never Sleeps is half empty.
On Fox’s Hannity, former New York Governor George Pataki said that the entire region has been mismanaged by Democrats for years.
He added that “I hear pessimism every day. New York has been horribly misgoverned and decisions have horribly hurt the state and the city. Indoor dining is OK. We need our small businesses to survive. We need Manhattan to come back today.”
According to the CDC report of September 25, 2020, the survival rate of the coronavirus is 99.7% for the young and 94.6% for those over 70.
Fine dining is an important part of New York culture and is at risk of losing those priceless restaurants. Hopefully, fine dining will soon open again before the ramifications of the lockdown outweigh those of the disease itself.
By Nadia Ghattas