This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Not to depend upon the idealism for high sanction, however, the following menu of an actual affair shows a pretty good pattern of the American style; that is of the essential part, for these menus never mention the vegetables unless they are made into a good dish such as we call a vegetable entree and they call entremets, just as our bills never mention bread unless it is made up into some form like crou-stades, sippets or toast:
"Gala dinner served at Prince Ftirsten-berg's palace, at Kremsier, to the Emperors of Austria and Russia and seventy-six guests. The table was laid with the costly service of gold plate from the Imperial Palace of Schonbrunn. The following menu was placed before the illustrious diners:
Bouchers a l'Empereur.
Piece de Bceuf et Selle de Veau.
Selle de Chevreuil, Salade et Groseilles de Bar.
Fonds d'Artichauts a la Demidoff.
Pouding a la Creme de Vanille.
Gelee au Muscat Lunel.
There is a clear turtle soup; a hot hors d'ceuvre; fillets of salmon with a sauce made red with lobster coral; a piece of beef and saddle of veal, roasted of course; a rich fricassee of chicken, white, and a rich fricassee of quails, brown, for the entrees; then punch. Next, the game, saddle of venison with currant jelly and a salad, and artichoke bottoms for the vegetable to eat with it. Then a vanilla cream pudding, muscat wine jelly, cheese, ices, nuts and fruit. The piece of beef and saddle of veal above the entrees is the feature that makes it like an American bill of fare and different from French bills, and it has a familiar appearance all through.
"The following is the bill of fare of a nice little dinner given by the Archduke Joseph of Austria to a select party of guests at his charming country seat on Marguerite . Island, on the Danube, near Buda-Pesth. Count Zichy presided, the Archduke being prevented from appearing at the table owing to his being in court mourning:
Potage a la Colbert.
Piece d'esturgeon, sauce remoulade,
Filet de bceuf a l'Anglaise.
Cars'. Liqueur Zichy. Creme.
Partaken of to the melodious accompaniment of a band of Tziganes (Anglice, Hungarian band), and washed down with various bottles of Hungarian wines, amongst which reigned supreme a regiment of Imperial Tokay, 1834".
There is a soup to be found in American bills any day; piece of sturgeon with a variation of tartar sauce, or mayonaise with minced pickles in it; fillet of beef in English style, which is plain roasted with mushrooms; only one entree, which is a patty that might do equally well as a hors d'tzuvre; then roast partridge and a French salad. Turas-Halusha is a Hungarian pudding; then comes tri-colored or Neapolitan ice cream and dessert.
Consomme de volatile.
Salmis de grousses a la Mar Lodge.
Poulets a la Viennoise.
Filet de boeuf Bordelaise.
Quartier d'agneau rati, sauce menthe.
Petits pois Francais.
In that there is a quarter of lamb, roasted, with mint sauce, and a fillet of beef. The arrangement of dishes is slightly different from others, due to the preferences of the French chef who prepared the menu. The last dish named is a coffee-flavored whipped cream, a froth.
These selections are more than mere interesting reading; they may serve as examples for occasions which are continually wising in our hotels when traveling dignitaries and celebrities are to be entertained, and they show that it is not the proper thing then to make the bill of fare twice as long as it usually is made for common use. But to return to the ordinary hotel bill: