Memorable Menus

July 9, 2016

Going through old files, I came upon this folder filled with menus from special occasions.  Interesting….

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This was a banquet given by Cecilia Chiang (or maybe for Cecilia?) at Shun Lee.  The food was truly spectacular; I particularly remember the Panda’s Garden, a set piece complete with lake, garden and various animals – all edible.



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The conjunction of three giants of modernist cuisine: Wylie Dufresne, Nathan Myhrvald and Grant Achatz. Actually four, when you consider that Alex Stupak was doing the pastry.


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This menu is from around 2003.  The food, by an imported Spanish chef,  was fascinating, but it was way too ahead of its time for Miani.  Sadly, the restaurant did not last.



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This meal, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Phyllis Richman’s tenure as restaurant critic of the Washington Post was a no-holds barred celebration at The Inn at Little Washington.  Completely over the top – the only way Patrick O’Connell knows how to do things.



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A menu from Laurent Gras’ tenure at Fifth Floor in San Francisco.  Gras is, hands down, one of the most talented chefs around. Sadly, he no longer has a restaurant.



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Another really talented chef who no longer has a restaurant: Rocco Di Spirito’s menu at Union Pacific.




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  • Tom Steele says:

    I so heartily agree about Laurent Gras. I well remember his tenure at the Waldorf-Astoria. I was a restaurant critic myself at the time, for Fodor’s and OUR TOWN, and I used to rave about him. I can’t believe he hasn’t landed anywhere.

  • Tom Steele says:

    I well remember Laurent Gras during his marvelous tenure at the Waldorf-Astoria. I raved about him when I reviewed restaurants for Fodor’s and OUR TOWN. I can’t believe he hasn’t landed somewhere wonderful.

  • Betsy says:

    Makes me regret recycling the Windows on the World wine list I kept. Obviously recycled before 9/11/01

  • annie says:

    So wonderful to read the Phyllis Richmond menu .. all those wonderful chefs .. and the food .. and the wine! I always think of Phyllis when I eat fried chicken .. “with good fried chicken, even the bones are crunchy!”

  • Interesting, Ruth! I never thought to keep menus – only recipes. What a lovely jolt back to a time and place. I’d never heard of Laurent Gras, I’ll have to look him up.


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