Farm to Table, Circa 1938
September 29, 2016
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.)
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.
(Sorry I cut off the prices; the lemon sole was $3, the lobster $4.25, everything else either $3.50 or $3.75.)
Categorised in: Old Menus
So expensive! It works out to about $60 in current dollars for chicken pot pie…
It’s the complete dinner – and includes the floor show. Depending on the show, it might actually be a bargain.
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!
That’s quite a menu and a large venue! How did the Diamond Horseshoe Gardens supply ALL the vegetables and salad? Amazing!