Good Enough to Eat was founded by Carrie Levin in 1981. After completing college in Aix-en-Provence, France, Carrie attended Pru Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London, then moved to New York in 1979. After an initial apprenticeship under Seppi Renngli, then Head Chef at the Four Seasons, Carrie opened the restaurant in 1981 as a result of her desire to create and serve “good, old-fashioned American food.” She partnered with Ann Nickinson, a talented cook operating a small take-out and catering business on Amsterdam Avenue, and together they opened the first Good Enough to Eat restaurant. The eatery became a huge success, noted first for its all-day, bountiful breakfasts featuring omelets, pancakes, waffles, and buttermilk biscuits. It became even more well know when it began offering homemade soups, huge sandwiches, and classic Turkey and Meatloaf dinners, establishing Carrie as one of the first Chef’s in NYC to create and celebrate “traditional” American cuisine.
In 1989, Good Enough to Eat moved two blocks north on Amsterdam Avenue, doubling its size from 10 to 20 tables. Two years later, Carrie became sole owner and chef when Ann left the partnership to pursue other ventures. In 2013, Carrie sold her interest in the restaurant to The Restaurant Group, a long-standing New York-based group that operates multiple venues in Manhattan, North Carolina and Washington DC. Carrie continues to consult with Good Enough to Eat, and the restaurant works to maintain Carrie’s tradition of serving great home-cooked food.
In addition, in 2013 Good Enough to Eat moved to a larger location at the corner of Columbus and 85th provides more available table space for its devotees.
Today, visitors from all over the world—English, German, French, Japanese—still come to Good Enough to Eat to enjoy classic American food. They sit side by side with Upper West Side “regulars,” enjoying wholesome, mouth-watering (and ample) plates such as Macaroni and Cheese, Lemon Parmesan Chicken, Pecan Trout, Caesar Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, the now legendary Meatloaf and Turkey Dinners, and Peach Pie with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. The appetite for wholesome, authentic, traditional American food only seems to be growing – both here and in cultures across the globe. And we at The Restaurant Group still carry out Carrie Levin’s mission to satisfy that hunger at Good Enough to Eat.