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Cafe Luxembourg in When Harry Met Sally

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Occasionally, we like to take a look back at restaurant scenes from classic New York movies. Here's a gem from When Harry Met Sally.:
Rob Reiner's romantic comedy masterpiece When Harry Met Sally features two great New York restaurant scenes: the infamous lunch at Katz's Delicatessen, and a dinner date at Cafe Luxembourg with Harry (Billy Crystal), Sally (Meg Ryan), and two of their friends, Marie (Carrie Fisher) and Jess (Bruno Kirby). Cafe Lux was a trendy restaurant when the film was released in 1989, and in the scene, Marie and Jess instantly hit it off once they start talking about dining trends. She mentions that "Restaurants are to people in the '80s what theater was to people in the '60s," which is something that he wrote in an article for New York. (Jess also boasts that he came up with "Pesto is the quiche of the '80s.")


A bit of background: Cafe Luxembourg was the second restaurant from husband and wife team Keith McNally and Lynn Wagenknecht. Opened in 1983, Cafe Lux brought the same glamor and downtown energy from their first project, The Odeon, to the Upper West Side. A Times trend piece written just after its debut notes that its clientele included "Warren Beatty, Carly Simon, Lorne Michaels, Kevin Kline and Teri Garr." The restaurant drew raves for its inventive but accessible New American fare, and art deco-influenced dining room.

Cafe Luxembourg in When Harry Met Sally:

In the late '80s, Cafe Lux was still the kind of place that intelligent, stylish, single thirtysomethings like Harry, Sally, and their friends would go to on a date. In 1988, the year the movie was filmed, Times critic Bryan Miller wrote: "As Cafe Luxembourg heads into the sixth year of its run, its performance is as vibrant and appealing as ever. " He awarded it two stars.

When Wagenknecht and McNally split up in the early '90s, she retained The Odeon and Cafe Luxembourg, and he went on to open a string of modern classics like Balthazar, Schiller's, and Minetta Tavern. These days, Cafe Lux is still a neighborhood favorite, and continues to draw celebrities like Alec Baldwin and When Harry Met Sally scribe Nora Ephron.

Previously: The Top 10 Restaurant Scenes From Woody Allen's Movies [~ENY~]

Cafe Luxembourg

200 West 70th Street, Manhattan, NY 10023 (212) 873-7411 Visit Website

Cafe Luxembourg

200 West 70th Street, New York, NY

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