Sardi's and Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor has provided laughs and insights on his Saturday night live radio show, Prairie Home Companion since the ‘70s. In 1989, for one brief year, the show broadcasted out of New York City as the American Radio Company of the Air. Even though he went back to Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, New Yorkers still love him, and he returns to peform two or three times a year with guests that included the fabulous, reclusive singer-songwriter Iris DeMent at the recent sold-out show at the historic Town Hall. Long may he rock and roll into Manhattan.

A Broadway institution, where announcements of the Tony award nominations are made, Sardi’s delivers more as an after-theatre date, rather than a pre-matinee lunch. (Most of us look better at night, in romantic lighting.) It’s memorable not so much for the food but for its red, jewel-box atmosphere, studded by caricatures of show-biz greats. The requirement is only that they played Broadway — many have passed through their doors and lit up the room. (Keillor’s frequent seasons on Broadway have earned him a place on Sardi’s wall of Broadway stars, but he’s not there!) Waiters will place your bottle of modest wine in an iced champagne bucket, just as they probably do in Lake Wobegon.