This week The New York Times reported the passing (at 87) of Robert Treboux, the proprietor of the frozen-in-time French bistro, Le Veau D’Or located in New York’s Upper East Side. Sad news. Treboux was a gracious man who kept alive old fashioned, French bistro cooking. Nothing ever changed at Le Veau D’Or. Not the decor. Not the menu. Not the gracious service. Only the clientele, which got older every year but remained faithful to this temple of quenelles, tripe, brains in black butter and long simmered butter and wine sauces. When HG had offices on Madison Avenue and 60th Street HG lunched there frequently. HG was served a giveaway of mussels in mustard sauce. Then there was an ample plate of sausage in crust with warm potato salad. Crocks of Dijon mustard (the real, tongue tingling stuff before pallid Grey Poupon arrived on the scene) and cornichons. Then a serving of brains in black butter with crusty bread and parsley-flecked boiled potatoes. A wedge of ripe Camembert helped HG finish his luncheon bottle of Beaujolais. In cold weather, HG often dipped into a huge cassoulet or a Provencal pot roast redolent of garlic, tomatoes and fresh herbs
Two years ago, HG lunched at the restaurant with SJ in tow. Treboux was there to give a pleasant welcome. At the end of the meal, HG encountered Elaine Kaufman of Elaine’s Restaurant and settled down to an afternoon of cognac and gossip. Elaine died a few months later. And, now Treboux. Thus, does HG’s New York fade into oblivion.