The Russian Tea Room: A Love Story

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Simon and Schuster, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 250 pages
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"The last thing I expected to do was marry a man eighteen years older than I was who owned a restaurant. The fact that the restaurant was the Russian Tea Room on West 57th Street in New York, I expected even less...." So begins The Russian Tea Room: A Love Story by former owner Faith Stewart-Gordon. Charming and revealing, this highly anticipated memoir shows why the legendary restaurant lives up to its reputation -- and then some. Rudolf Nuteyev told Time magazine that the Russian Tea Room was what he liked most about America. Carol Channing regularly dined there for lunch -- on mysterious items she'd bring herself in a lunch box. Leonard Bernstein scribbled the first bars of "Fancy Free" there on a napkin. And Dustin Hoffman made his hilarious and unforgettable first public appearance as a woman from the famous movie Tootsie at the Russian Tea Room. Now, just in time for the Russian Tea Room's long-awaited reopening, comes this delightful, anecdote-rich story of the famed New York eatery -- and more. It's not just about a famous place, it is a true memoir, at times very funny, always touching, sometimes sad, and often revealing, about a brave and quirky young South Carolina woman, Faith Stewart-Gordon. From the early 1950s and acting on Broadway to her marriage to the Russian Tea Room owner Sidney Kaye and her subsequent struggles to operate the restaurant after his death, she balanced a career and young motherhood, a journey with which many will empathize. Faith Stewart-Gordon never lost sight of what went on behind the scenes, both in the restaurant and in her own life. The Russian Tea Room is not only a story of survival but of the quest for self-knowledge set against the most glamorous of backgrounds.
 

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Read it, loved it, wish there was something like this where I live!

Contents

Beginnings
15
First Date
30
Newlyweds
40
New York Restaurants
46
Isaac
56
Hungry Artists
63
Location Location Location Real Estate
67
RTR Divas and the Art of Having Lunch
88
Caviar and Vodka and Other Epicurean Delights
186
EllenHeartbreak and After
189
The Art Collection
195
RTR Advertising
202
Making Movies and Making Trouble
209
Last Days
218
Cabaret
220
Endings
229

Tall Tales
123
Into the Valley
157
Fires from Ashes
166
Jim
172
Epilogue
235
Index
237
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Faith Stewart-Gordon ran the Russian Tea Room for nearly thirty years. She is the author of The Russian Tea Room: A Tasting and The Russian Tea Room Cookbook. She lives in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.

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