This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
The grandest and probably most expensive ball which ever took place in New York was given by Mrs. Vanderbilt about three or four years previous to the reception alluded to above. It was described as "an Eden of tropical exotics - musical strains from a rose-embowered arbor - flashing diamonds on a sea of silken waves - a supper fit for the gods, fringed by a cataract of wine." The menu makes but a small figure in print for an occasion that was reported to have cost $30,000. But this is it:
The menu was engraved In delicate script and printed on a heavy bevelled bristol card, with gilded edges, three and a half inches wide by five inches in depth. In the centre, near the top, was the Vander-bilt coat of arms in raised gold.
Hultres frites. Croquettes de volailles.
Terrapine a la Maryland.
Sauman a la Rothschild.
Galantine de volaille aux truffes.
Aspic de foie frras en bellevue.
Salade de volaille au celeri.
Mayonnaise de homard laltues.
Baba au rum.
Napolitnine. Biscuit glace.
Merveilleuse. Diable rose.
[Translation of the above menu].
Terrapin, Maryland style.
Salmon a la Rothschild.
Boned fowl, truffled.
Ham in jelly. Chicken in jelly.
Chaudfroid of reed birds.
Aspic of foie gras en bellevue.
Sandwiches a la Windsor. Rilette bread,
Baba au rum.
Five varities of ices.