food 02.28.18

Famous Dishes from Famous Places
Every Person in New York
Poll: Jared


A little trip down memory lane, a culinary cul-de-sac, brimming with butter and cream, that hasn't seen much traffic in about 80 years. We came across a tiny booklet of recipes from Manhattan restaurants called Famous Dishes from Famous Places, most of which had their heyday around the time of the 1939 New York World's Fair. Here's a selection:

Cavanagh's, which was at 260 W. 23rd, was known for their Aristocratic Irish Stew:

Simmer about 2 pounds leg of lamb and several sliced carrots and onions in water to cover about 2 hours, or until lamb is tender. After lamb has been cooking about 1½ hours, add 4 lamb chops. When cooked, season with 2 teaspoons salt and dash of pepper and allspice. Melt 1 cup butter in saucepan and add 4 tablespoons flour, stirring until smooth. Add 3 cups of liquid from stew and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.

Continue cooking gently 10 minutes. Add part of sauce to 3 slightly beaten egg yolks, return to pan, and cook gently 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Flavor with the juice of 1 lemon and dash of nutmeg and pepper. Place a slice of the leg of lamb and one lamb chop on a mound of mashed potatoes, and pour the sauce over the meat, and garnish with the carrots and onions. Serves 4.

La Mascotte, which was at 19 E. 60th, was known for their Scallops Saute Signora:
½ cup of olive oil
Three cups of scallops, dipped in milk and rolled in flour seasoned with salt and pepper
Eight fresh mushrooms
Six tablespoons butter
Four slices of tomatoes, dipped in flour
One clove of garlic, chopped fine
The juice of half lemon
One tablespoon of chopped parsley
½ teaspoon salt

Place frying pan on fire with oil until very hot, add scallops and cook until very brown. Drain and place on dish. Slice mushroom stems and simmer stems and caps in 1 tablespoon butter until tender. Brown tomato slices in 1 tablespoon butter. Cook garlic in 4 tablespoons butter. Arrange mushrooms and tomato slices on scallops; pour on lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley. Pour garlic-butter mixture over all and serve at once. Take four slices of lemon to garnish. Season with salt. Serves 4 persons.

Louis & Armand, which was at 42 E. 52nd, was known for their Emincée of Chicken Tetrazzini:

Steam or boil one 5 to 6 pound fowl in as little water as possible. Allow it to cool off and remove skin and bones, and cut in large dice. Brown 3 or 4 small onions, chopped up fine, in 1 cup of butter. When onions reach a golden brown, add two tablespoonfuls of flour; stir a few seconds; add one pint of boiling hot milk and stir until it reaches a nice thick consistency. Add 2 tablespoons of sherry, ½ teaspoon of salt, and dash of pepper. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken and let simmer for 6 to 8 minutes.

Boil 3/4 pound spaghetti in salted water, strain, and mix with a little butter. Place spaghetti in deep dishes. Now add to the chicken one yolk of egg, three tablespoonfuls of whipped cream. Stir well and put chicken over spaghetti. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese; place under the broiler for a few seconds, and serve. Serves 6.

Perroquet, which was at 134 E. 61st, was known for their Steak Vermont:
2 ounces Roquefort cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 drops Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon A-1 sauce
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tenderloin steaks

Make a paste of cheese, butter, sauces, and dash of salt; stir until blended. Cut slits in sides of steak and insert slivers of garlic. Cover one side of steak with the paste and broil under a very hot broiler until well browned. Turn and cover other side of steak with paste and brown under broiler. Serve at once. Serves 2.

Theodores, which was at 2 E. 56th, was known for their Beignet Souffle:

Place ¼ of a pound of butter and 2 tablespoons of water in a casserole. Melt and add all at once ¼ of a pound of flour which has been sifted with 1/8 teaspoon of salt and stir together. Add 5 eggs, one at a time. Stir until smooth and add ¼ teaspoon of vanilla and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Drop from teaspoon into hot fat and fry about 4 minutes, or until done. Serve with apricot sauce. Makes enough dessert fritters to serve 4 to 6.

Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for more at Jason's site and his book Every Person in New York.


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