by Christina Parrella, 10/16/2012 [Updated 02/04/2016]
It takes a lot of energy to defend this land of the free and home of the brave, and over the past three centuries, American presidents have kept themselves going by fueling up all over the City. While running a deeply divided country, Honest Abe indulged in mashed potatoes smothered in cheese and bread crumbs at Delmonico's Restaurant, a Financial District establishment known for its tender cuts of meat and old–New York feel. (Legend has it Lincoln once commented to owner Lorenzo Delmonico, "In Washington, where I live, there are many mansions, but no cooks like yours.") Meanwhile, in the East Village at McSorley's, one of the City's oldest Irish taverns, Lincoln is reported to have been a fan of the house ale. And much more recently, after delivering a speech at Federal Hall in 2009, President Barack Obama had lunch with Bill Clinton at Greenwich Village Italian eatery Il Mulino. When asked by reporters what they ate during their mid-afternoon meal, Clinton responded: "We had fish, pasta and salad." That's a far cry—and about 150 years—from a plate full of cheesy potatoes.