RIP Elaine Kaufman – “They were all impressed with your Halston dress/And the people that you knew at Elaine’s.”

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New York City dining doyenne Elaine Kaufman died Friday at the age of of 81 from complications of emphysema. As proprietor of the eponymous Elaine’s restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, since 1963, she held court nightly over a star-studded scene that in its heyday, boasted writing royalty like George Plimpton, Norman Mailer, Gay Talese and Hunter Thompson as well as silver screen stars including Kirk Douglas, Michael Caine and Billy Dee Williams.

While the food was widely regarded to be rather unremarkable, the restaurant found a permanent place in pop culture with it inclusion in scenes from Woody Allen’s ‘Manhattan’ and the recent film ‘Morning Glory,’ as well as a notable mention in Billy Joel’s ‘Big Shot’: “They were all impressed with your Halston dress/And the people that you knew at Elaine’s.”

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