at the Neue Gallerie, 1048 Fifth Ave. at 86th St. The café’s website here.
If the Café Sabarsky hadn’t been at the Neue Gallerie, my attempts to visit the collection of early 20th-century German and Austrian art would have been far more frustrating than they were. But my frustration is my own fault, because I failed to check the website two days in succession. The gallery, please take note, is closed TWO days a week, not simply one, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thank god the café was open on Wednesday, the day of my second attempt.
Café Sabarsky occupies a dark wood-panelled room on the ground floor of the gallery. For those who have never visited Austria, like me, the ambience evokes images of fin-de-siècle Viennese cafés. It feels Old World. The customers looked like they were either tourists or graduate students in art history. The serving staff wear ankle-length aprons over black pants, white shirt, and black vest. A large mirror facing the windows overlooking Fifth Ave. enhances the light in what would otherwise be a dark room.
The food offered is distinctly Hapsburg: schnitzel, strudel, sausage, and pastry. For lunch, I chose a crêpe filled with smoked trout with horseradish crème fraîche and a salad of celeriac, apple, and walnut. I ordered as well Elderberry syrup in sparkling water to drink with my meal. Everything was good, fresh, and flavorful.
Although not cheap, lunch at the Café Sabarsky offers a nice, peaceful lunch in a casual but elegant refuge from the city.