R.I.P: The Original Edgar’s Cafe

NOTE: this article was written a month and a half before Edgar’s closed their main location on West 84th Street. Their flag is down (literally – they had a flag over the entrance) after twenty years as a late night staple of the Upper West Side.

I tend to be out late. If I have not been to a restaurant, it is probably because they are not open past eleven o’ clock at night or they have three plus dollar-signs on Yelp.com. Edgar’s is a cozy side street cafe that opens and closes in the AM hours. The delicious menu is generally affordable. It is clean and the lighting is dim (also known as romantic).

A few more more things about my restauranting style before I gush further: I will probably bypass a restaurant if I can’t get a table on the periphery (to watch and not be watched is the aim), I love it when waiters bring all the food then forget about me (seriously, I like to just stay), and I actually appreciate a place that accepts cash only. It leaves a lot to the imagination: I imagine mob-rulings; very sexy. I’m partially joking.

Anyways, Edgar’s satisfies all of these points effortlessly. You can bring a card, but they’ll make you use that machine at the door to pay them the way they state on various signs at the entrance: in cash (please). It is small, but there are cozy corner tables, and after ten people seem to eat faster. If you like that sort of thing, wait for one. The waiters are a bit tapped for energy by the time I roll in, so I have noted that they move slower, but they are polite.

And let’s talk about the food. The pasta is delightfully simple. The salads are big and all ingredients are superbly fresh. The grilled chicken is absolutely flavorful and moist (that was my last chicken, by the way- what a way to go). They have a pretty great margherita pizza for $9 and lots and lots of sandwiches including plenty for you vegetarian readers. And dessert… oh, what can I say? They have two full menu pages of desserts to match the two huge dessert counters. While absolutely everything looks delicious, my pattern of eating generally leads me to the frutti di bosco: fruit on top of cream on top of a soft, light cake on top of more fruit… cream…cake. Bellissima!

As for the decor, if you’re drinking, don’t look up. The ceiling has been painted to look like it is cracking open and the images of Edgar (Allen… Poe) on the walls are disturbing. There is a somewhat dark (or should I say deathly?) quality in the design of this place, but if that really bothers you, just go to their open-face establishment on Amsterdam at West 92nd Street. If you happen to be out after midnight in the West-wherever’s, do stop by. It’s a treat.

Edgar’s Cafe is located at 255 West 84th Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue and  650 Amsterdam Avenue, near West 92nd Street.

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