a season of menus

Chanterelle Menu

This fall, there’s been some extra attention given to a much overlooked printed item of the restaurant world –  the menu. With the publication of Heller, Heimann and Mariani’s magnificent Menu Design in America, 1850-1965, we can all browse through the culinary, social and artistic kaleidoscope of the menu. Also, in observance of the 40th Anniversary of Chez Panisse, Princeton Architectural Press has published an illustrated survey of the menus lovingly designed and hand-printed by Patricia Curtan. It’s titled Menus for Chez Panisse.

Here at Rabelais, we’re joining in the menu celebration by exhibiting a small selection from our collection of American, English and Continental menus. For the next month, the walls of the store will be covered with menus, from the historical to the oddball. The lovely abstract menu above is designed by American minimalist Terry Winters for the vanguard Tribeca restaurant, Chanterelle.  Below is a menu from the Union Block Eating House in Taunton, MA, which proudly proclaims, “Hot Buck Wheat Cakes constantly on hand!” Sounds good to me. This weekend, at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair, amongst the rare cookbooks and cocktail manuals, we’ll be exhibiting a collection of late 19th Century Viennese menus, as well as individual menus from the 19th & 20th Centuries.


Union Block Eating House Menu

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