À la carte

109 Steinbergs NYC 1938.jpg




À la carte


New York City


April 26, 1938


Steinberg’s streamlined Art Déco interior is mirrored in the cover design of this menu that offers a tantalizing list of Eastern European Jewish foods including salmon, borscht, vegetarian (mock) chopped liver, chopped herring, cabbage soup, potato latkes, cheese blintzes, and kreplach—small dumplings filled with cheese. Opened in 1931, Steinberg’s was one of several beloved dairy restaurants on the Upper West Side. In Saul Bellow’s novel Herzog (1964), the protagonist’s ex-wife tells him that she wants to go to a nice place for breakfast but is not dressed for the Plaza, to which he replies: “In that case I’ll take you to Steinberg’s Dairy, which I prefer anyway.” Actor Walter Matthau reportedly spoke French to the waiters at Steinberg’s, placing orders such as “Garçon, some chopped eggplant, s’il vous plait.”