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Voisin Ashtray (James Bond dined here)

Voisin Ashtray (James Bond dined here)

$185.00

Considered among the oldest of New York's restaurants to achieve true institution status in the twenties and thirties, even finding its way into a Ian Fleming novel "Diamonds Are Forever" when James Bond enjoyed a classy dinner at Voisin.

Voisin was the dream of two Austrian brothers, Alfons and Otto Baumgarten. The pair cut their teeth as busboys at their father's Vienna restaurant at the end of the 19th century, before setting off to assume various positions in some of Europe's greatest fine dining rooms. Otto moved to New York in 1908, and rose through the ranks of the Ritz Carlton restaurant, Alfons joined him at the end of the decade and the two hatched a plan for a place of their own. Their inspiration, in name and spirit, was an ages-old Parisian classic. When the Baumgartens opened their own Voisin in New York in 1913, they adorned the walls with photos and other ephemera from that ancient restaurant, including an original menu from the infamous Christmas feast. Their own bill of fare, full of French classics, also featured a wide array of fresh domestic game, as well as exotic seafood and imported luxury items like foie gras and caviar. The basement space was intimate, the service, exacting. It quickly became a celebrity hangout and favorite of New York's elite.

Voisin flourished throughout the 20s, 30s and 40s. Most of the original front of the house crew had spent time in Europe, at the same grand restaurants that Otto and Alfons worked in, so Voisin's signature service style didn't change. And in 1923, a Londoner named Richard Clark assumed the executive chef role. Clark trained under Escoffier in 1914 and had a reverence for the art of French cuisine.

After forty years as one of New York's paragons of French cuisine, Voisin was forced to leave its subterranean home at 375 Park Avenue. The apartment building it had lived in, the Montana, was being demolished to make way for the Seagram building, but the restaurant found a new location just ten blocks away at 575 Park Avenue. All the design details were moved over, including the chandeliers, the plush red banquettes, and of course, the menus and relics from the Parisian Voisin.

Offered is an extremely rare ashtray, a venerable relic from one of New York's paragons of French cuisine.

Voisin Ashtray (James Bond dined here)
Item #02336

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