Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Luchow's Restaurant Cookbook Illustrations by Ludwig Bemelmans

I scored this terrific little cookbook from the famous Luchow's German restaurant this past weekend. LUCHOW'S GERMAN COOKBOOK was by Jan Mitchell and published by Doubleday and Company, 1952

Luchow's was a NYC German restaurant. When it was first opened, in 1882, it was Lüchow's; named after the Bavarian waiter who saved his money and bought it in the 19th century. But the place decided to omit the umlaut between 1917 and 1950. ("The absence of the umlaut had led many new customers to believe that the place was a Chinese restaurant,"-- New York Times.)

The famous eating establishment was originally located on 14th Street, encompassing the entire block to 13th Street. It was a good location. Business was good. It was close to the opera hose, the Academy of Music, Steinway Hall, as well as Tammany Hall.

In 1982, due to the decline in the neighborhood, it was relocated to the theater district. The restaurant failed there, closing within two years. The original building on 14th Street was torn down after a fire ravaged the site in 1995.

Ludwig Bemelmans, a writer, artist and traveler, enjoyed the good life. His illustrations were the reason I bought the book. Best known for his Madeline series of kids books, Bemelmans had a steady stream of his own adult books and travel articles. I adore his work and am slowly amassing his non-Madeline output.

Made some good goulash from the book that night!

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