|Tips on Tables - Robert W. Dana - October 28,
Maisonette Still Tops at The St. Regis
Since the middle '30s the St. Regis' most popular dining-and-dancing
room has been one flight down from the lobby and has retained at least
part of its name through several changes. For four years it was the
veddy smart Maisonette Russe, with Prince Serge Obolensky and the
cream of society lending
their august presence to the gay scene. In 1939 it became the Hawaiian
Maisonette for a shorter period than I should set down here. From
then on it has been known as just the Maisonette.
Informality has had its way in recent years, and about the only thing
august about it now is its very clever headwaiter, August Prete. The
social folk still come down the stairs, but they don't feel they have
to wear such a formal air with their clothes.
Picked Dorothy Shay.
Much of the reason for the change in social climate dates back to
the hotel's booking of an unknown singer - at least to the tony folk
- named Dorothy Shay, who has become widely known as the Park Ave.
hillbilly. She looked like many of the post debs who frequented the
room and soon won their hearts with her natural air of gentility and
Other fine entertainers came along and the food and dance music helped
fill out the evening. Then, last year, the decor of the room was changed
with startling completeness, a completeness that is still being argued
pro and con.
Jean Pages, a Frenchman, created a series of gray-and-black murals
showing classical ruins including bits of Greek and Roman architecture.
on gray plains, the ruins give a sense of great distance with the
strong feeling of perspective. As for the rest of the room, there
are crystal chandeliers, red banquettes and a black carpet. Table
linen is soft gray to blend with the murals. The only white comes
from gentlemen's shirt fronts.
The St. Regis kitchen is well known for its excellence. In addition
to the established French cuisine, there are several Russian dishes
that go back to Maisonette Russe days. My captain was George Scalabrino,
a topnotch man. For those who like wine, there is a splendid list
of imported and American vintages.
Featured in the current floor show are Evelyn Tyner, accomplished
pianist, who has been much in demand at parties in the Washington
social whirl, and Beryl Davis, the English singer, who is becoming
a budding star in the American entertainment world. Dance music is
played by Milt Shaw and his orchestra and the orchestra of Laszlo
Menu Memos: St. Regis Maisonette, Hotel St.
Regis, Fifth Ave. and 55th St. Open for dinner, and supper, with entertainment
at 9:15 p. m. and midnight. French cuisine, with some Russian specials.
Dinner, 6:30 to 10 p. m.; table d'hote, $4 up. Supper menu from 10
p. m. to 2 a. m. weekdays, to 3 a. m. Saturday's; a la carte, entrees
from $1.25. Cocktails from 75 cents. Closed Sundays.