Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives
March 20, 1957, Vol. II, No. 21
By Ernest Trencherman
Kissing my loved ones a fond farewell, I entered my double-flapped weather-roof with the 7-inch epaulettes and crawled stealthily toward the border. My ears were still ringing with the Chief’s orders: Leave the West Village, land of my youth, and find somewhere to eat on Lower Fifth Avenue. At a rendezvous point on the northwest quadrant of Fifth and 10th, I slipped unobserved into the bar of the 35 Fifth Avenue Restaurant.
The other agent entered, disguised as an attractive woman, and we moved into the main dining room, which is trim and well-decorated in the neo-classic mode. When we saw the deep-blue glasses glowing against the soft white linen, and the soft white waitresses glowing against their blue uniforms, it was almost too much for us. We did, however, manage to get on with the investigation, starting with celery filled with bleu cheese, and puree of vegetable soup. Both were excellent.
Then the other agent ordered roast prime ribs of beef au jus, with stewed tomatoes and buttered egg noodles. In order not to be repetitive, I ordered roast leg of lamb, mint jelly, with mashed yellow turnips and green peas. We secretly traded bites of food, and to our consternation found that everything was uniformly fresh, well cooked, and almost impossible to segregate into favorite and non-favorite tastes.
Without our even having to order them, two salads with Thousand Island dressing arrived, as did a basket of piping-hot home-baked muffins. For desert my accomplice had macaroon cream pie, while I discreetly nibbled stewed rhubarb. Lots of coffee, of course, from a small silver pot. The combined check was $5.45, which is just above par for the course.
After a safe return to the West Village — we were nearly stopped at the border by some people yelling “Excelsior!” something or other — I filed the following report with the Chief: The 35 Fifth Avenue Restaurant is guilty of serving large portions of well-prepared food in gently elegant surroundings at a reasonable prices between the hours of 5:30 and 8:30, Monday through Saturday, and from 12:30 to 7:30 on Sundays.
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]