|Tips on Tables Robert W. Dana June
Food Is Tops, Too At the Copacabana
In all the years it has gained a nationwide reputation for its excellent
shows, fine music and gilt-edged atmosphere, the Copacabana, 10 E.
60th St., has been doing an outstanding job of preparing food in immaculate
behind the scenes. So often I had heard the remark: "We never
knew a night club could serve such food" that I decided to meet
That entails too much meeting during the busy dinner hour, what with
20 chefs and cooks in all 15 preparing a French cuisine and
five a list of Chinese dishes. So it was restricted to a fast handshake
with Marcel Jougier, head French chef, who has been there six years,
and a nod to Lum On, head Chinese chef.
The rest of the time was devoted to watching Jules Podell, the club's
supervising director and a restaurant man for 30 years, watching each
waiter like a hawk to make sure that each order is as near perfection
as possible. Down the line they came, baring their trays of edibles.
Quickly the stocky man in the brown suit lifted each cover,made sure
the size of the portion and the general appearance of the plate was
right, otherwise back the waiter went to the back of the line to try
all over again.
Mania for Cleanliness.
You'd think that running the one gauntlet would suffice, but, no,
the waiter has to satisfy the head checker before leaving the kitchen
for the final trip to the customer. Mr. Podell has a mania on the
subject of cleanliness. Let him see a piece of lettuce staining the
floor and he'll stop everything to have it cleaned up. Let a waiter
show a spot on his white jacket with the crimson collar and a quick
change is ordered.
Out front, Jack Entratter, the quietly efficient manager, watches
the customer satisfaction, exemplified, perhaps in a group of women
having a dinner party on the balcony.
They not only are going to see one of the town's best night club shows,
but they're going to eat a tasty, filling table d'hôte dinner,
with entrees ranging in price from $2.50 for filet of lemon sole Breteuil
to $4.25 for roast stuffed Vermont tom turkey. Some of the other fishes
are scallopine of veal (always excellent), emince of capon with spaghetti
Tetrazzinni, baby lamb steak béarnaise and such Chinese dishes
as white meat chicken chow mein and pepper steak with bamboo shoots,
water chestnuts, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes.
Menu Memos: Copacabana, 10 E. 60th St. Excellent
French and Chinese cuisines. Joe Lopez, head waiter, Table d'hote
dinners served from 7 to 10 p.m., $2.50 to $6.50 for filet mignon.
Also an extensive a la carte list. Current floor show stars Dean Martin
and Jerry Lewis, the fine comedy team, in their seventh week. Mary
Raye and Naldi, the dancers, have just joined the show as featured
performers, with the Copa girls youthful singers and dancers comprising
the rest of the entertainment.