The things which really strike me:
- Closing times. The author usually gives one, and 3am seems typical whatever the type of place or location.
- Value. There are swanky joints, but restaurant after restaurant is commended as inexpensive. Imagine trying to recommend good value in NYC today.
- Homogeneity of cuisine. Lots of classic French and Italian, some German and Central/Eastern European, a few American (chops, oysters) with the same dishes mentioned over and over again. No premium on novelty.
I also learned that what is now York Avenue was considered an continuation of Avenue A, and thus labeled on the map. I also learned, in reading about the restaurants and clubs of Harlem, that political correctness had not yet been invented.