10 New York Restaurants Truman Capote’s Swans Would Dine at Today

If you found yourself wondering about the modern-day equivalent of La Côte Basque, we’ve got you covered.

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In the pilot episode of Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, Truman Capote (played by Tom Hollander) is lunching at La Côte Basque with his glamorous high society pals (the “swans”), when he is accosted by a furious Ann Woodward (Demi Moore), who throws a drink in his face. While wiping the wine off, he declares with a giggle, “I want dessert. And maybe let’s stay for dinner, too? I can’t bear the thought of returning to the real world.” Perhaps that is the sign of a truly good restaurant. 

While there are elements of fiction woven into the series, which is based on true events, one aspect that didn’t require any exaggeration was the role of La Côte Basque and its comparable fashionable restaurants in this social circle.

The restaurants that Barbara “Babe” Paley, Nancy “Slim” Keith, Lucy Douglas “C.Z.” Guest and Lee Radziwill frequented in the 1960s and 1970s were more than just a place to eat—they were a sanctuary for the women who ruled over New York society. The Colony Club, Le Pavillon, Quo Vadis and La Côte Basque all gave these socialites a momentary break from their glamorous yet high-pressure lives. 

As Capote revealed to the world in “La Côte Basque, 1965,” however, his swans’ lives were often far from ideal. For Capote, the restaurant and the women were the perfect source of fodder for his career revival, but after the short story was published in Esquire (it was the first chapter in his intended roman à clef, Unanswered Prayers, which was never finished), it cost him his friendships with this coveted clique.

But back to the restaurants! If you found yourself wondering about the modern-day equivalent of La Côte Basque, we’ve got you covered.

So, where would the swans go to dine today? Some of their last remaining haunts in New York City recently closed, including La Grenouille and The 21 Club. (La Côte Basque shut its doors in 2004, after 45 years of business.) There is, however, a select group of new restaurants (including some that would require the swans to venture below 52nd Street) that have opened over the past few years, and would be perfect for the ladies who lunch.

Casa Cruz

  • 36 E 61st St, New York, NY 10065

Starting off strong in a neighborhood the swans knew well! Casa Cruz is situated between Park and Madison, in an exquisitely decorated six-floor townhouse filled with original paintings by Keith Haring, David Hockney and Andy Warhol. With so many floors and multiple bars, as well as a terrace, you could have a different experience with every meal. Come dressed to the nines (the waitstaff is outfitted in uniforms designed by Emilia Wickstead, so the bar is high) to try South American and Mediterranean cuisine—the cheese souffle is a standout. Though you can be a member (for a hefty price tag), anyone can dine here. That is, if you can score a reservation at Casa Cruz, which is considered to be one of the most expensive restaurants in New York City.


The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges

  • 25 E 77th St, New York, NY 10075

Since its reopening in 2009, The Mark Hotel has become a fixture for New York high society, with The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges serving as a major draw. It’s the kind of place you can drop by at any time of day, making it the perfect meeting spot for a quick meal or a drink. Plus, their partnership with Bergdorf Goodman would surely be swan-approved.

The Mark Restaurant. Angela Pham


  • 174 E 82nd St, New York, NY 10028

Though Hoexter’s only recently reopened on the Upper East Side in late 2023, it has already managed to capture that classic New York City feel. It helps that it is a reinvention of Hoexter’s Market, a popular spot throughout the 1970s and early ‘80s. Reopened by the same family (Laura, Bobby and Alexandra Shapiro),  it has quickly regained its reputation as a neighborhood stalwart.  And yes, they brought back that gorgonzola garlic bread and massive mural, along with plenty of caviar sprinkled throughout the menu.

Hoexter’s. Hoexter’s

The Regency Bar & Grill

  • 540 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065

The Regency Bar & Grill at the Loews Hotel is a New York institution, and always draws an elite crowd. The home of the “power breakfast,” a term coined by hotel founder Bob Tisch, this restaurant has long been a place for the business elite, as well as Hollywood A-listers (Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were regulars). Plus, its location makes it a great place to stop after a long day of shopping on Fifth Avenue. After a major refresh in 2013, this hotel and restaurant has become the epitome of luxury for a whole new generation. Drop onto one of the lush banquets and nibble on Joan’s chopped salad while showing off your purchases from Hermès with a big Bloody Mary. 

The Regency Bar & Grill. The Regency

Smith & Mills Rockefeller Center

  • 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Rink Level, New York, NY 10020-2302

Though it may be located in one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world, we still think the swans would be perfectly at home at this Rockefeller Center restaurant; an outpost from the Tribeca original. You need to know where you’re going, as it is located behind a wall with no windows, with only a small menu to indicate the restaurant. Once you do find the door, you will find yourself looking at a vibrant oblong bar and private dining rooms. Nibble on rock shrimp scampi, salmon rillettes and cavatelli, and of course, some killer cocktails.

Smith & Mills Rockefeller Center. Smith & Mills

Le Coucou

  • 138 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013

The swans would have to venture downtown to try this eatery, but with his deep understanding of classic French cuisine, chef Daniel Rose would be a draw for these socialites today. The 80-seat exquisite restaurant, located in Soho’s 11 Howard Hotel, offers an intimate setting complete with crisp white tablecloths and a prix-fixe menu. If it’s good enough for the Roys on Succession, it must be good enough for the swans.

Le Coucou. Corry Arnold


  • 99 Prince Street New York, NY 10012

The swans would have loved all the members-only clubs that have launched in the last few years, including Zero Bond, founded by Scott Sartiano, so naturally they would also adore his new Soho restaurant, Sartiano’s. Located in the Mercer Hotel, Sartiano’s takes a clever spin on a classic Italian menu, creating the perfect setting for a gossip-filled lunch (the Caesar salad is a must) or a long, wine-filled dinner. There are plenty of dark corners in the restaurant to hide in if you are trying to survive a scandal, and they would be all about the bar’s signature martini, complete with a caviar bump.

Sartiano’s. Teddy Wolff

American Bar

  • 33 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

Though some may argue that American Bar is a bit basic, its pedigree is anything but. Modeled after the private members clubs of London and classic restaurants like The 21 Club, founder Kyle Hotchkiss Carone has created an environment that feels exclusive without being snobby. The ladies who lunch here may tend to be on the younger side and wear jeans and Bottega Veneta Jodie bags instead of tweed suits and alligator purses, but this is still a place to be seen.

American Bar. American Bar

Swan Room

  • 9 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

The swans were always pioneers when it came to style, art and finding hidden gems in the city, so perhaps they’d want to discover a new neighborhood, too, like the Swan Room at Nine Orchard in Dimes Square (and the name doesn’t hurt, either.) After sitting empty for six years, the Jarmulowsky Bank was brought back to life as an opulent hotel in 2022, with the Swan Room cocktail lounge as its crown jewel. The Swan Room is grand yet intimate, with pink couches and greenery that provide an ideal setting for enjoying a dreamy cocktail.

The Swan Room at Nine Orchard in Dimes Square. The Swan Room

The Polo Bar

  • 1 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022

Fittingly, the Polo Bar took over the original location of La Côte Basque, and though it is distinctly different from its predecessor, it certainly draws an elite crowd. It helps that  Ralph Lauren is at the helm. Even though it only opened in 2015, it feels like it has been around for decades. The Polo Bar is that coveted blend of timeless elegance and classic Americana design, putting it in the same league as The 21 Club. Combined with top-notch service and coveted yet down-to-earth dishes, it’s no wonder this is the hottest place to eat in town. And if you can’t get a reservation for a while, The swans would also love Ralph’s Coffee Shop.

The Polo Bar. The Polo Bar

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