Farm to Table, Circa 1938

September 29, 2016

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Billy Rose was one of the great theater figures of the last century.  He began as a lyricist (among other things he wrote It’s Only a Paper Moon), was married to Fanny Brice (Funny Girl) for almost ten years, and became a producer (there is still a Broadway theater named for him). But as I perused this old menu from The Diamond Horseshoe, the nightclub he ran in the Paramount Hotel near Times Square, I realized he also had one of  New York’s first farm-to- table restaurants.  (The farm was apparently bought before the United States joined the war, in anticipation of rationing.)

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If you’d like an image of the dining room, here’s one from the New York Public Library archive.

And here’s the menu.  The night club opened in 1938 and closed in 1951; I’m not sure what year this menu dates from, but from this comment about the taxes, I suspect it was during the war years.

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(Sorry I cut off the prices; the lemon sole was $3, the lobster $4.25, everything else either $3.50 or $3.75.)

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4 Comments

  • jonathan gold says:

    So expensive! It works out to about $60 in current dollars for chicken pot pie…

  • Joy Kramer says:

    Imagine having a glass of sauerkraut juice for an appetizer! I’ll take the prime rib, oh, no, wait, the lobster. Does sound expensive but it wasn’t a coffee shop, it was an experience!

  • Connie says:

    That’s quite a menu and a large venue! How did the Diamond Horseshoe Gardens supply ALL the vegetables and salad? Amazing!

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