The fifth season of Mad Men is premiering on Sunday, and after the 17-month hiatus, we’re starving! During the first four seasons, the show has gone out of its way to feature how the up-and-coming ad men of the 1960s ate at home (Dinty Moore stew is good in a pinch) and drank at work (vats of Canadian Club). The plotlines have also managed to showcase the best restaurants New York City had to offer back then.
Our favorite food scenes include Don Draper taking his date to Benihana to get a lead on potential Japanese clients and the surprise birthday party for Peggy that she missed at the Forum of the 12 Caesars. (Eater has done a great job compiling the various locations.)
Creator Matthew Wiener has been very tight-lipped about what’s going to happen this coming season but we’re wishfully thinking that the partners of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce will be heading out for more meals on the town.
What follows is a Food Republic wish-list of the five restaurants that we most hope Don Draper and his pals will be patronizing this season:
Located on 64th street and 1st avenue, this ostentatious restaurant and singles bar could just be opening when Season 5 takes place. Known for being a center of the new swinging 60s scene, Maxwell’s Plum would be a great place for Draper to get laid and feel disgusted soon after. Before copulation, he would no doubt pass on the escargots and bite into one of the foot-long hot dogs then popular that would likely trigger a Proustian memory of childhood neglect and abuse.
- Cedar Tavern
We’re hoping Peggy makes her way downtown to exercise her liberated womanhood as she pals around with artists, musicians and (yikes!) lesbians. This locale was a hang out for abstract expressionists and rockers such as Bob Dylan, among others from the Greenwich Village scene, and maybe it’ll finally provide the right place for Peggy to find her people, and a reason to quit the biz and start writing that novel we all know she has in her.
- Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop
Draper’s fondness for Semitic good looks could well land him here, as he tries to unlock the heart of another tortured feminine soul. And, anyway, Eisenberg’s is midway between his office and his downtown bachelor pad, so it would only make sense that he stop here for a tuna sandwich and a malt.
- Port Arthur
Restaurant Imagine Roger Sterling’s surprise if Joan brings him downtown to this innocently-named restaurant, only to find out it serves…Chinese food! Sterling’s Asia-phobia might be tempered if he and Joan relight their torch over Chop suey, which she eats compulsively in a bizarre mental hang up she develops as she waits (dreads?) for her husband’s return from Vietnam.
- Rainbow Room
It seems strange that this famous restaurant and nightclub at the top of nearby Rockefeller Center hasn’t made it on the show yet, so this is the most likely from this list to appear this season. We can see young Pete Campbell storming his way to the top of the agency as he wines and dines some hot client at the swank location. Look for Pete to trip while cutting a rug on the revolving dance floor—and then to somehow find a way to win back his clients’ confidence with that kinda’ scary, boyish smile.
More on Mad Men from Food Republic: