TAVERN ON THE GREEN’S | Classic Caesar Salad

with Parmesan Crisps

by RRR
Plated Tavern on the Green Caesar salad featuring crisp romaine leaves drizzled with creamy dressing, garnished with croutons and grated cheese, on a sleek white dish with a rustic tabletop setting.

A Taste of New York History: Tavern on the Green

New York City is a tapestry woven with the threads of history, culture, and culinary excellence. Few places embody this blend as perfectly as Tavern on the Green, an iconic restaurant with a pastoral twist that harks back to its original purpose in the 1880s. Conceived by the visionary Calvert Vaux, this enchanting structure within Central Park began its journey as a sheep fold, safeguarding 700 Southdown sheep. Yes, you read that right – sheep!

From Bucolic Beginnings to Culinary Chic

As Central Park’s verdant lawns became an urban sanctuary, these woolly residents grazed on what was aptly named Sheep Meadow. But the evolution of New York is a tale of transformation, and so it was for this quaint sheep fold. In 1934, Robert Moses, with his grand vision for the city’s parks, saw more than just a home for sheep; he saw a gathering place for people. With a flick of his metaphorical wand, the building was transformed into Tavern on the Green, a restaurant that would become a gilded emblem of New York’s high society.

The Tavern’s Golden Era

Over the years, Tavern on the Green has seen many a change in management, yet through every transition, it has retained the allure that draws the glitterati to its doors. The park’s embrace, the added dance floor, the al fresco dining, and the sumptuous menu transformed the Tavern into a playground for the city’s luminaries.

The kaleidoscope of guests over the decades – from starlets to musicians, to public figures – were not just seeking a meal; they sought the Tavern experience. It was a place to see and be seen, a stage where the city’s heartbeat could be felt in its most joyous celebrations.

Rebirth of a Legend

The dance of the city never stops, and neither did the Tavern’s story. Despite closing in 2009, the city knew that this gem needed to sparkle again. Enter Jim Caiola and David Salama, the maestros from Philadelphia, who in 2013 were given the baton to lead Tavern’s revival. They not only reinstated its former glory but also echoed its original essence. The sheep fold’s spirit was rekindled with thoughtful decor, wood paneling, and a menu that sang with the seasons.

When the doors swung open in April 2014, Tavern on the Green was not just reopened; it was reborn. It offered a welcoming embrace to all, from the local New Yorkers looking for an escape in their own city to visitors searching for a taste of its legendary past.

Culinary Continuance with the Classic Caesar Salad

Among the many dishes that have graced the menu of Tavern on the Green, the Classic Caesar Salad holds a special place. It’s a recipe that speaks of continuity, a bridge from the pastoral simplicity of the sheep’s greens to the cultivated elegance of the restaurant’s tables. It is New York on a plate – timeless, sophisticated, and with a story to tell.

The Tavern on the Green still stands as a testament to New York’s ever-evolving landscape, a place where history is honored, and the future is always celebrated with a toast – and perhaps, a Caesar salad. It’s more than a restaurant; it’s a living, breathing piece of New York’s soul.

Serve with Fleming’s Steakhouse’s Tomahawk Steak and The Strip House’s Potatoes Romanoff and Enjoy!
Plated Tavern on the Green Caesar salad featuring crisp romaine leaves drizzled with creamy dressing, garnished with croutons and grated cheese, on a sleek white dish with a rustic tabletop setting.

Tavern on the Green's Classic Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisps

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 184 calories 15 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 3 heads of Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Dressing:
  • 3 raw eggs, yolks only *Tip
  • 2 TBL Dijon mustard
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 6 jarred anchovies
  • 1/3 cup fresh, squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 pinches of Kosher salt
  • 3-4 cranks cracked black pepper


In a blender, add egg yolks, Dijon, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice and cracked black pepper and blend ingredients on a medium speed.  While the blender blade is on, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture.  This process is called emulsification and will give the dressing a “whipped” consistency.  Do not add the Parmesan cheese into the dressing, yet.  Refrigerate in the blender jar until ready to serve.

*Tip: Can substitute the egg yolks with ½ cup mayonnaise.

Parmesan Crisps:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a large sheet tray lined with a silpat, drop 2 TBL piles of grated Parmesan cheese onto the silpat.  Parchment paper can be used if you do not have a silpat.  Gently spread each pile of Parmesan.  Bake in oven for 7 minutes.  The cheese should melt together, become slightly browned and caramelized and take the shape of a round crisp.  Remove from the oven and, immediately, place each crisp on a cooling rack.

Finish the Dressing:

Remove from the refrigerator and replace jar on blender.  Add ¼ cup Parmesan and 3 pinches of Kosher salt and blend quickly.  Do not over-blend, as you do not want the Parmesan to break down in the blender.

Salad Formation:

Take each head of Romaine, remove the core, and cut the head of lettuce down the middle lengthwise to make long “spears”.  Display the spears on salad plates, drizzle with the Caesar dressing and garnish with 2 Parmesan crisps.



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