Christ Cella – Never Forgotten

September 5th, 2015 § 3 comments

Christ Cella was a New York steak house on E. 44th Street. It opened in the 1930s and closed in the 1980s. Its glory years were the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Later, it was just a shadow of its former glorious self. On June 29, 2011, HG wrote about CC in a post entitled: “Gone But Not Forgotten Restaurants.” Well, CC certainly remains in the memory of many people. Not a week goes by without someone (including friends and relatives of staff who worked at the restaurant) contacting HG and sharing thoughts and memories of the restaurant. Older folks, veterans of Madison Avenue and the communications industry, recall happy three martini and steak lunches. The younger set remember joyous meals with their dads before sporting events. Even members of the Cella family have reached out to HG to recall the joy of the restaurant. HG ate there alone, with friends and when entertaining journalists HG wanted to influence. Every meal was a pleasure. The Christ Cella proprietors demanded the very best product. They and their customers were willing to pay (for the time) comparatively steep prices in order to get it. And, the kitchen crew treated the fine ingredients with respect and precision. When HG ordered a New York strip steak rare, HG received a steak that was charred on the outside and robustly red in the interior. Rare, not raw as is the fashion for steak in Paris. HG’s spring favorite of shad with shad roe and bacon was perfect, Never overcooked. The lemon butter sauce enriched the the fish and roe but never overwhelmed the fresh flavors. And, the bacon was crisp with nary a spot of grease. The boiled potatoes with parsley were just right. The Christ Cella emphasis on quality might be the reason it is remembered with such fondness.

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§ 3 Responses to Christ Cella – Never Forgotten"

  • jay hoenemeyer says:

    The best . Ate there often , expense account entertainment from a Big Bank , in the early 70’s . Pretty much always ordered the same : Beefsteak tomatoes with blue cheese , bay scallops and hash browns .Always , at least always tried , to eat at the bar in the back . It was what it was: simple direct and the very best . And the waiters , back when waiters were waiters and not some kid waiting for a call back , also the best .

  • IVANA CELLA says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR KIND REMEMBRANCE OF CHRIST CELLA..I AM SURE I REMEMBER YOU IF I SEE YOU….LOT OF TIME HAS GONE BY..IT IS VERY NICE TO EAR FROM A FRIEND AND A GREAT COSTUMER. I AM IVANA CELLA OWNER OF CHRIST CELLA WITH MY LOVELY HUSBAND B. GENERAL RICHARD CELLA THAT ,REGRETTUFL IS LONG GONE….THANK YOU REGARDS. IVANA CELLA.

  • Barbara Hatton says:

    I have many fond recollections of dinners at Chris Cella with General Riccardo Cella and his beautiful wife Ivana. Both Riccardo & Ivana always took the time to welcome their guests, whether regular patrons or new to the restaurant.
    I have never had such great sauteed scallops as those served at Chris Cella. To this day I keep hoping I will find a suitable substitute, but nothing comes close. To bad for those who have never been or will never have the opportunity tosavour this fine establishment

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