The Legendary Restaurant Romanoffs! Remembering An Iconic Beverly Hills Celebrity Hangout!

Welcome To The Glamorous Romanoff’s!

I love the golden age of Hollywood – and the legendary hangout for the rich and famous – and the Beverly Hills restaurant Romanoff’s was one of them!

Imagine sitting at dinner and watching Cary Grant light someone’s cigarette…what glamour!

From 1941 to 1962, Romanoff’s was THE place to be seen in Beverly Hills, and perhaps one reason was it’s very unique owner!

Harry F. Gerguson was known as Michael Romanoff – a Hollywood restaurateur, best remembered as the owner of Romanoff’s, a Beverly Hills restaurant that was Hollywood’s playground in the 40’s and 50’s!

Hilariously. Romanoff generally snubbed his clientele, and preferred to lunch with his dogs!

Romanoff claimed to be a member of Russia’s royal House of Romanov, although it was widely known to be untrue!

This photo cemented the restaurant’s reputation: the legendary shot of International Star Sophia Loren checking out Sex Kitten Jayne Mansfield!

Stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable made it the town’s hottest spot – and a good friend of mine sent me a menu from the restaurant!

While Romanoff’s featured a typical country club-style menu with items like Waldorf salad, tomatoes stuffed with crab, filet mignon, frog legs, eggs Benedict and sausages on toast, the restaurant became known for its chocolate soufflés, which were served to each guest in an individual portion!

Some of these great photos came from a terrific website I found, thanks to Author Martin Turnbull – see his story all about Romanoffs here:

Turnbull has written great novels about Hollywood’s golden era, and I picked one up to show my support!

The Garden on Sunset is the first in Martin Turnbull’s series of historical novels set during Hollywood’s golden age.

Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels:

Book 1 – “The Garden on Sunset”
Book 2 – “The Trouble with Scarlett”
Book 3 – “Citizen Hollywood”
Book 4 – “Searchlights and Shadows”

I love the idea of novels that celebrate the golden age of Hollywood – and websites as well, including my friend Alison Martino’s terrific “Vintage Los Angeles” site:

She covers all things classic Hollywood, and recently shared this great ad for vintage Hollywood restaurants:

Alison shared these photos on her Facebook page called “MidcenturymodernLosAngeles” and you can see it here:

Alison tells great stories of classic Hollywood locations, and a time when stars went to restaurants like Musso & Frank:

Musso & Frank just celebrated it 100th Anniversary, and I love that they continue to be a hip Hollywood hangout – they were prominently featured in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In…Hollywood.”

Let’s toast with one of their Martinis!

See their iconic menu, and what I ate when I was there, by clicking on my story here:

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Let me know if you’ve eaten at a classic restaurant where you live!

Categories: Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Food, Hollywood, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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28 replies

  1. Such a glamourous era and that white cape is so beautiful…I really enjoyed this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey John, thanks for checking out my work and I’m glad my you found my website fun and interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yum! I would have loved dining at Romanoffs. Great post John.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A delightful read! Love the photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I do love visiting these glamorous places through your posts John. While my dining experiences have been on the duller side, I have eaten at the Omni Parker House in Boston. It’s had visitors such as Dickens, Kennedy, and Emerson. And Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X worked there. It also blessed us with Parker Rolls and Boston Cream Pie!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, that long white cape from the picture, is quite something, John. What a wonderful and glamorous place.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ps – I ate at Machus Red Fox here, where Hoffa disappeared and Roma Cafe in Detroit where Sinatra and he guys would dine. Both cool legends.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s so cool, I know the legend, but not all the stories. Lov the pic of Sophia and Jayne!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Interestingly enough, my uncle, Mike Romanoff, was quite upset that the photo was taken. He felt it cheapened the elegance of his restaurant to have its name associated with something so lurid. Funny considering the interpersonal habits of may of his patrons. No one could ever say that Hollywood in those days was anything like chaste.

        Christopher Lister


  9. I sent a lot of links, John. So the comment will be in moderation. 🙂


  10. That truly was a ‘golden age’, for those with the money to enjoy it. I ate at some very good places in London. Some traditional, some trendy.
    Oxo Tower. I sat next table to Damian Lewis that night.
    Rules, the oldest surviving restaurant in London.
    Joe Allen, popular with theatricals, and trendy.
    Sartoria, with its frosty atmosphere, private dining rooms, and great food.
    Le Point De La Tour, with one of the best views of London.
    Tea at The Ritz, a classic insitution.
    And many more!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person


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