Restaurateur George Lang, the owner of famed Cafe de Artistes from 1975 until it sadly shuttered in 2009, died last night. Lang, who was forced into but escaped labor camps in the 1940's, came to the United States in 1946 after his parents died in Auschwitz. He worked at the Waldorf Astoria, assisted restaurant wizard Joe Baum, and was the director of the Four Seasons before founding his restaurant group in 1970 and buying Artistes in '75. In her 1976 review of the restaurant, critic Gael Greene described him thusly: "That is George Lang -- linguist, littérateur, calligrapher, bibliophile, scholar, showman, violinist, the expert’s expert -- to his friends, clients, competitors, a genius, a dazzling opportunist, P.T. Barnum, something of a charlatan."
In an email to friends forwarded to Eater, his family writes that they are holding a memorial service for him at 4 PM on Monday, July 11 at Riverside Memorial Chapel at 180 West 76th Street. They ask that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Fales Library at New York University, where George's collection of culinary books now resides.
· All Coverage of Cafe des Artistes [~ENY~]
[Photo: from a 1976 Gael Greene review]