Rumpelmayer’s

October 23rd, 2014 § 2 comments

Ah, Rumpelmayer’s!! That’s a name that will provoke a sigh from many older (and not so old) New Yorkers. This was a long closed restaurant/tea room/ice cream parlor in The St. Moritz Hotel (now the Ritz-Carlton) on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Central Park South. The original Rumpelmayer’s was in Vienna (with branches in London and Paris) and the New York version retained a European air (it was a favorite of Marlene Dietrich and many other European expatriates). Its design was vaguely art deco softened by heaps of colorful stuffed animals that adorned the walls and corner tables. The animals were very much liked by young customers (and were sometimes purchased for them by doting parents). A restaurant reviewer of the 1930’s called Rumpelmayer’s “the haunt of New York’s most pampered children.” Well, HG/BSK’s offspring were not pampered but they sure loved Rumpelmayer’s. As part of special occasion outings (known as “treat days”), the youngsters were seated at Rumpelmayer’s marble counter for opulent hot fudge sundaes. The ice cream was super rich. The hot fudge was really thick and warm –the sweetness being off-set by the slight bitterness of the high quality chocolate (Says SJ – Post-Rumpelmayer’s I was always disappointed by chocolate sundaes as the “hot fudge” tasted like chocolate syrup, but recently I had a Sundae at Brooklyn’s Chocolate Room and their hot fudge was of the same quality and the flavor brought me right back to Rumpelemayer’s counter). The ultimate treat. When HG had offices nearby, HG would often visit Rumpelemayer’s for a late breakfast or early lunch. HG’s food choice was a delicacy that has long disappeared from menus: The Monte Cristo Sandwich. This was a sandwich of French toast enclosing sliced ham and melted Gruyere (or Emmenthaler) cheese. Served with a pitcher of warmed maple syrup. HG would eat this lush dish, sip coffee and watch snowflakes descend upon Central Park. Nostalgia, anyone??

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§ 2 Responses to Rumpelmayer’s"

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you for this post! I went several times as a very small child a very long time ago and loved it! Sad that it’s no longer there. Thank you for the happy memories!

  • Richard says:

    My grandpa and grandma went to Rumplemayers in London a lot when he was on leave from ‘the front’ in 1916 (as recorded in his diary). He was a Captain so could afford it. It was good to hear something about the actual food they served, and those famous soft toys….thanks

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