Home Celebrity Read Liz Smith’s Tribute to Elaine Kaufman


“If you can’t eat a Dove bar now and then, life isn’t worth living!”

This is an Elaine Kaufman truism direct from the famous café owner who left us bereft last week as she ended her legendary saga. I continue with my report on the late Elaine from a book I wrote in 2005 called Dishing.

“I KNEW Elaine Kaufman back in the early fifties, when she was a waitress at Portofino in Greenwich Village. She was then in love with the café owner, Alfredo Viazzi, a charming Italian guy who was soon outstripped when Elaine left him and became a restaurant legend of her own. We have had many adventures since 1953 , or was it 1954?

“I have enjoyed a lot of caviar and smoked salmon from Elaine Kaufman over the years but it was a Tex-Mex evening that almost did us both in. Elaine and I once left the confines of New York to go to Fort Worth, Texas, where our pal, former TCU beauty queen June Jenkins, was opening a restaurant in the downtown, newly refurbished by Sid Bass, which is fondly called ‘Cowtown.’  (June is wed to the writer Dan Jenkins, who I call ‘the chicken-fried steak novelist.’ All of his wonderfully funny books contain prominent mentions of this Texas delicacy. His wife’s restaurant at the time also featured C.F.S. but leavened in some hot Tex-Mex.)

continued at www.wowowow.com

1 reply to this post
  1. I remember my mother going to elaine’s with a few of her friends
    trying to repay Elaine’s kindness to my theater Agent sister
    who had gone to Caan without a hotel reservation during the film
    festival and Elaine was kind enough to give my sister a place to
    stay. My mother said to Elaine “You know my daughter…..” who was
    your typical “Agent” type of Don Buckwald’s. She said “Yes I know
    your daughter but I’m a friend to your son”. I think I was driving a
    cab at that time. I will truly miss her.

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