Now that the Crystal Room is Closed, Marathoners Have to Pasta-Picnic at Tavern on the Green

The end of an era of pasta-pushing, at least indoors.

We’re just a day away from the ING New York City Marathon — got your streetside spot to watch, yet? — but for runners, it’s just a few hours for the yearly, pre-race “pasta dinner” at Tavern on the Green. Since the 1970s, when the race first began as laps around Central Park, the legendary restaurant has been the finish line. And the night before, runners could be seen bulking up on carbs in the Crystal Room.

But the Tavern, as we’re sure you’ve heard, closed this January, making this the first race without it. Just in time, however, the Park reopened the space this October as a visitor’s center and outdoor courtyard (which stands in place of the Crystal Room), where food trucks now supply the goods. This year, though there may no longer be a kitchen on the premises, there will still be a pre-game feast called The Marathon Eve Experience from 1-8pm (serving lunch and dinner) under tents over the old Crystal Room space — which will be catered in by aptly named Pasha Events, last we heard, and will shockingly include foodstuffs beyond spaghetti.

Where the race would usually end right in front of the Tavern — and possibly with a meal — bleachers will be set out nonetheless for the trademark big finish in the Park. If you’re gearing up, check out our bite-by-course breakdown on the race from our 2008 November-December issue. (Spoiler: See how Joe Bastianich prefers to get his sugar rush on.)

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