In a corner townhouse mansion on 86th Street and Fifth Avenue, a collection of art sits unassumingly within walls which were home to a rich industrialist, William Starr Miller, and the wife of Cornelius Vanderbilt III, Grace Wilson Vanderbilt. In 2001, the building opened to the public as Neue Galerie—one of the newest additions to the Upper East Side's Museum Mile.
Step into the grand foyer and the charm of the townhouse pulls you in. Head up the staircase to browse their priceless collection of early-twentieth-century German and Austrian artworks. Gustav Klimt's distinctive paintings will stand out. Note his Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I which the museum purchased in 2006 for a record $135 million—the highest price ever paid for a painting. Expressionist and abstract works by Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Egon Schiele fill the hallways, alongside decorative furniture by Josef Hoffman and several Bauhaus artists.
The whole museum is meant to transport you to 1920s Vienna and captures not just art, but the culture of the era. You'll feel this most sipping espresso in the wood-paneled walls of Café Sabarsky. Simple café tables and chairs fill the center of the room, booths line the windowed wall, a grand piano sits in one corner, and a marble fireplace brightens the scene.
Sit with a piece of rich chocolate cake accompanied by hazelnut (Klimttorte), apricot preserves (Sachertorte), or rum (Sabarskytorto). Exotic herbal teas and fruit nectars complement dessert or breakfast. Lunch and dinner include choices of traditional sandwiches, soups, and entrees from savory goulash and cheesy spatzle to fried wiener schnitzel and Bavarian sausages. The café serves wine and beer, the perfect accompaniment to Thursday night cabaret.