Menus tell stories and the menus in this exhibit tell a story of a time when restaurants were destinations for the evening, when dancing and music were as much a part of the restaurant landscape as the food, when stars like Frank Sinatra entertained guests who sipped cocktails and nibbled on their hors d’oeuvres. In the days and years after Prohibition ended there was no shortage of entertainment across the country, even during the darkest days of the Depression and World War II. Cabarets, nightclubs, supper clubs, and hotel roof gardens were some of the hottest places to spend an evening. The sixty menus on display illustrate the intersection of food and culture across the United States, from New York City and its speakeasies to Miami Beach and its nightclub-hopping tour buses, from Detroit where celebrities were on layover between New York and Los Angeles to an infamous supper club in Biloxi, Mississippi. Supper clubs, popular in the Midwest, are also represented, as are two interesting U. S. military nightclubs in Italy and Germany. All of the menus are from The Culinary Institute of America Menu Collection.
Please follow the links to learn more about the menus and to view the digital objects.
This online content presents a selection of material in the physical exhibit of the same title on display in the Donald and Barbara Tober Exhibit Room in the Conrad N. Hilton Library at The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, August — November 2015.