What the steward thought

Here is the menu with comments appended by its creator who served it to 75 people. He is measuring the dinner against the prevailing standards of the day concerning the number and kinds of courses a formal dinner should consist of. Rarity in foods was highly prized then and game was at the top of the hierarchy. He did not give the menu a letter grade, but I think he would rate it C, inexpensive yet acceptable. It is not only geared to economy but it is simplified to the point where it lacks courses and accompaniments often found on banquet menus such as Relishes, Salad, and Fruit.

Bisque of Oysters
[oyster soup instead of oysters]
Planked Whitefish, Maitre d’Hotel
[a cheap fish with a suitable sauce]
Browned Potatoes
Roast Tenderloin of Beef, Sauce Madere
[at 22 cents a pound, the beef offers the best and cheapest kind of substantial dish, ‘piece de resistance’, and the sauce is a good one]
Green Peas
[also green peas are good]
Lemon Water Ice
[one of the cheapest productions of the pastry cook’s art]
Deviled Lobster au Gratin
[a cheaper substitute for game or other expensive dish, highly seasoned]
Vanilla Ice Cream
Assorted Cake
American Cheese, Water Crackers
Coffee
[cost per dinner 94¢]

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