Sunday, July 6, 2014

Weekend Cooking- The Writing Room

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food. 

One of the most famous restaurants on the Upper East Side of New York City was Elaine's. It was a hangout for famous writers, like Norman Mailer, Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, and Woody Allen set many scenes from his movies there.

Owner Elaine Kaufman, who hosted a fabulous Oscar party there every year, passed away in 2011, and last year the restaurant reopened as The Writing Room. My husband and I visited there last night for the first time, and had a lovely meal.

They have a $38 pre-fixe dinner menu, and I ordered from that. For my starter, I got the Sweet Corn Soup, which was the highlight of the meal for me. It had sweet corn, shrimp, basil and fava beans, which I can't say I've ever been a fan of, but they added a nice taste and crunch to the soup. A skewer of corn fritters came with it, and those were delicious. My only complaint was that the soup was a tad too hot.

Sweet Corn Soup

For my entree, I chose Buttermilk Fried Chicken. The presentation was cute, a cast iron dish with two thighs, two drumsticks, a small dish of cole slaw and a tiny buttermilk biscuit. The chicken was juicy, but the coating could have used a little more seasoning, maybe more salt. And some butter or honey for the biscuit would have been nice.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
My husband ordered the Spinach Caesar Salad and the bone-in Strip Steak, both of which he enjoyed a great deal. For dessert we shared Chocolate Creamsicle Pops, which were two mini pops of orange sherbet covered in a chocolate coating, served with a cookie topped brownie triangle. We both liked the brownie better than the pop, it was very fudgy.
Chocolate Creamsicle Pops
Book lovers will feel right at home here. There is a bar area, and a main dining room, the walls covered with photos of famous authors. We sat in the back room, passing a huge card catalog set into the wall on our way back.

One wall of the back room is covered with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, filled with books. I was in heaven! We sat in the far left corner, my husband in a leather booth that ran the length of the North wall, and I sat in chair facing a fence. I wish they could do something about that view, but in the dark room, they need to keep the light coming in as much as they can I guess.
Bookshelves line the west wall 
One book I noticed right next to my head was The Cosmo Kama Sutra, and when I picked it up, I noticed that the book jacket was empty; according to our waiter, someone had stolen the book. I bet everyone who sits at that table picks up that book is disappointed that their dinner reading choice is missing.
The jacket is missing its book
When we got the check, there was a comment card with it. The card was in the form of a library book card, which I though was the perfect way to end the evening.
Comment card
We'll return to The Writing Room; the food was wonderful and the service was impeccable.
The Writing Room website is here.


  1. It sounds like The Writing Room is a worthy replacement to Elaine's. Glad you two had a nice meal, I will put it on my list of must-try NYC restaurants!

    (I am currently looking for NYC recommendations for my birthday celebration dinner!)

  2. How fun! And you can't beat the price. Thank you for doing the difficult job of finding all the good restaurants!

    1. Well, as they say, it's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

  3. That sounds fabulous and $38 sounds like a deal for a dinner like that in the city!

  4. sounds like a wonderful experience. I do wonder if authors who dine there are donating a copy of their book(s) for the shelves.

  5. Sounds like a fabulous dinner. That corn soup would definitely be a highlight for me, especially with that skewer of little corn fritters - great idea for presenting a soup.