On Sunday's episode of Mad Men, "The Summer Man," Donald Draper took society girl Bethany out on a date to the restaurant Barbetta on West 46th Street in Manhattan's Theater District restaurant row, a restaurant which incidentally is still in operation today. What is it with Don taking her to themed restaurants? Mere episodes ago, he took her to the original, and at the time only, Benihana.
Barbetta claims to be the "oldest restaurant in New York that is still owned by the family that founded it." It also claims to be the oldest Italian restaurant in New York City, to be the first restaurant (in New York?) to serve risotto and polenta (1906), white truffles (1962), sun-dried tomatoes (1968), and panna cotta (1984). An entire list of "firsts" can be found on the restaurant's website — we'll take them at their word on all of that. They also happen to own truffle hounds that search the Piemonte countryside in Italy during truffle season to supply the restaurant.
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