Gone But Not Forgotten Restaurants: Christ Cella

June 29th, 2011 § 109 comments § permalink

Christ Cella was a New York steak house on East 44th that was a lure for athletes and big eaters. At lunch one day, HG spotted the late Howard Cosell, boxing promoter Don King (of the electric hair) and that deadly jump shooter, Jerry West. HG stopped at West’s table and told him he was forgiven for all the bad things he did to the Knicks. Jerry was amused.

HG always had the same two meals at Christ Cella. In the fall and winter (HG did not dine there in summer, preferring lighter victuals): A scotch sour (freshly squeezed lemon juice); lobster cocktail with Remoulade sauce; New York strip steak (Christ Cella had the all time beefiest, best and biggest steaks in the civilized world) accompanied by salad with Roquefort dressing. Beverage was black and tan (Ballantine India Pale Ale mixed with Guiness Stout—half and half).

In spring HG replaced the steak with a platter of grilled shad, shad roe, bacon, home fried potatoes, sharp tartar sauce and cole slaw. HG never had dessert. Heartier souls knocked off giant portions of New York cheesecake. The admen in the restaurant preceded their meal with two or three martinis.

Yes, indeed, happy drunken high cholesterol days. Those martini drinking, cigarette puffing guys are, of course, a memory like Christ Cella itself.