Mad Men Season 5 Restaurants: Where Should Don Draper Dine in New York?

The frustration of having to use the phone for restaurant reservations hampers Don Draper's efforts to quit smoking.

Like the rest of the free world, I’m beyond excited about the premiere of  Mad Men on Sunday, March 25th. Last year, longing for our favorite faces from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, we rounded up New York City restaurants that Don Draper dined at. Today, we’re wondering where he and the rest of the Mad Men characters might dine in the Big Apple during season 5!

Restaurant: 21 Club
Location: 21 West 52nd Street, New York, New York
Casting note: Open since 1929, we’re certain that the stylishly clubby 21 Club would be a must-eat for the agency’s out-of-town clients, so we’re not sure how this icon of Manhattan’s power-dining scene hasn’t yet received its close up. Also, how dashing would Don Draper look sitting beneath the Bar Room’s fabled toy ceiling-scape?
Book it!

Restaurant: Café Carlyle
35 East 76th Street, New York, New York
Casting note: A favorite of café society, and wildly popular since the mid 1950s, Café Carlyle could provide the perfect opportunity for new parents Pete and Trudy Campbell to enjoy a stylish night of the music of George Feyer and fine dining sans baby. The murals by Marcel Vertes remain intact, leading us to believe Café Carlyle’s star turn isn’t far off.
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Restaurant: Delmonico’s
Location: 56 Beaver Street*, New York, New York
Casting note: Arguably one of America’s most influential historical restaurants, Delmonico’s has had several locations, the longest-running of which is 2 South William Street in the Financial District. Operating from 1837–1890, again from 1891-1917 and later from 1929 to 1977, in the very same space that houses the contemporary Delmonico’s (*whose address is mysteriously listed as 56 Beaver Street), the Mad gang brass should dine here the next time they visit their stockbrokers.
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Restaurant: Fraunces Tavern
Location: 54 Pearl Street, New York, New York
Casting note: Built in 1762, Fraunces Tavern wasn’t technically open as a pub or restaurant during Don Draper’s days, but maybe the ad man will have cause to visit what was then home to the General Society Sons of the Revolution. Now, the Porter House Brewing Company is behind the taps, impressing craft beer lovers and foodies alike.
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Restaurant: Grotta Azzurra
Location: 177 Mulberry Street, New York, New York
Casting note: Let’s introduce more ethnic flavor — literally — into Mad Men‘s dining scenes with a trip to New York’s Little Italy neighborhood and Grotta Azzurra. Established in 1908, Grotta Azzurra serves classic Italian fare, including housemade pastas. Account man Pete Cosgrove and his wife could attend the San Gennaro feast before popping in for romantic Italian dinner.
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Restaurant: Le Perigord
Location: 405 East 52nd Street, New York, New York
Casting note: Le Perigord opened its doors in 1964, [SPOILER ALERT] just two years before the fifth season of Mad Men takes place. Given its Sutton Place address and that The New York Times awarded it four stars when it opened, it seems likely Mad Men‘s VIPs would entertain clients, wives, and even mistresses, at this tony restaurant. Still serving classic French food with stand-out service from tuxedoed waiters, Le Perigord is a shoe-in for a setting.
Book it!

Restaurant: Monte’s Trattoria
Location: 97 MacDougal Street, New York, New York
Casting note: Smack in the middle of Manhattan’s fabled Greenwich Village, Monte’s Trattoria, open since 1918, sits on prime real estate in one of New York’s most exciting places to be during the mid sixties. Perhaps a post-dinner stroll on the streets around New York University could stir Joan’s interest in the early anti-war protests.
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Restaurant: Old Homestead
Location: 56 Ninth Avenue, New York, New York
Casting note: Established in 1868 when the Meatpacking District was exactly what its name implied and not just some place Samantha Jones lived, Old Homestead is just the sort of place an adventurous Lane Pryce might take a colleague seeking a juicy steak, a cold martini, and a change of scenery.
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Restaurant: The Russian Tea Room
Location: 150 West 57th Street, New York, New York
Casting note: This opulent homage to Russian culture and cuisine has been open since 1927. Featured in many movies, notably Tootsie, The Russian Tea Room serves a delicious chicken Kiev. Bonus: A waiter slices it open for diners, so Harry and Jennifer Crane won’t need anti-butter bibs as Don did in season 4. PS: When you sidle up to the bar and the bartender asks if you’d like a shot of vodka, say yes. Even if you’re not Russian, you’ll feel like you are!
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Restaurant: Tout Va Bien
Location: 311 West 51st Street, New York, New York
Casting note: The oldest French restaurant in Manhattan’s Theatre District, Tout Va Bien has been in business since 1948. Family owned and operated into its third generation and still serving delicious French bistro fare, Tout Va Bien could be a great pre-theater meal before Betty and Henry Francis see Mame on Broadway.
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Have you dined at any of the classic New York restaurants? Which do you think most deserves an appearance on the next season of Mad Men? Weigh in here or over on Facebook!


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