PORTOFINO RESTAURANT 206 THOMPSON STREET, NEW YORK, NY OPEN MID TO LATE 1900s (NOW THE MALT HOUSE PICTURED) “Among many Italian restaurants around Greenwich Village in the early 1960’s, Portofino was known for celebrity-spotting, a relaxed atmosphere and dinners that were abundant but affordable. A half-century later, it has earned another distinction — as a footnote to American history — because it was where Edie met Thea. The case of Edith S. Windsor, who is challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, is to be heard Wednesday by the Supreme Court. (A related case involving same-sex marriage in California was heard Tuesday.) If you trace Ms. Windsor’s marriage to Thea Clara Spyer back to its beginnings, you arrive at Portofino, 206 Thompson Street, near Bleecker Street. ...Portofino offered something else — on Friday nights in particular. It offered a place where women who wanted to rendezvous with other women could do so discreetly, with little fear of exposure or entrapment. That described Ms. Windsor in 1963, divorced and 34 years old. She knew what she wanted but had no clue how to get it without risking her career at I.B.M. ‘I suddenly couldn’t take it any more,’ she said in the documentary ‘Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement’ (2010), ‘and I called an old friend of mine — a very good friend — and I said, ‘If you know where the lesbians go, please take me.’ O.K. So she took me to the Portofino for dinner.’ ‘The lesbians used to go there on Friday night,’ she said, ‘and somebody brought Thea over and introduced her. And we ended up dancing.’” (David W. Dunlap, The New York Times, 2013)

PORTOFINO RESTAURANT 206 THOMPSON STREET, NEW YORK, NY OPEN MID TO LATE 1900s (NOW THE MALT HOUSE PICTURED) “Among many Italian restaurants around Greenwich Village in the early 1960’s, Portofino was known for celebrity-spotting, a relaxed atmosphere and dinners that were abundant but affordable. A half-century later, it has earned another distinction — as a footnote to American history — because it was where Edie met Thea. The case of Edith S. Windsor, who is challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, is to be heard Wednesday by the Supreme Court. (A related case involving same-sex marriage in California was heard Tuesday.) If you trace Ms. Windsor’s marriage to Thea Clara Spyer back to its beginnings, you arrive at Portofino, 206 Thompson Street, near Bleecker Street. ...Portofino offered something else — on Friday nights in particular. It offered a place where women who wanted to rendezvous with other women could do so discreetly, with little fear of exposure or entrapment. That described Ms. Windsor in 1963, divorced and 34 years old. She knew what she wanted but had no clue how to get it without risking her career at I.B.M. ‘I suddenly couldn’t take it any more,’ she said in the documentary ‘Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement’ (2010), ‘and I called an old friend of mine — a very good friend — and I said, ‘If you know where the lesbians go, please take me.’ O.K. So she took me to the Portofino for dinner.’ ‘The lesbians used to go there on Friday night,’ she said, ‘and somebody brought Thea over and introduced her. And we ended up dancing.’” (David W. Dunlap, The New York Times, 2013)