Table d’hôte

7 - Astor House 'Ladies' Ordinary' NYC 1852.jpg


Astor House


Table d’hôte


New York City


May 22, 1852


This menu comes from the women’s dining room which was smaller and more ornately furnished than the dining room for the men. The social customs were also different. Unlike the men, who scrambled to their seats when the bell or gong was sounded, women were individually seated by the headwaiter. While the meals in the two dining rooms may have been served at different times of the day, the content and design of the menus were most likely the same. The wine list in the side columns includes nearly fifty types of Madeira, an extraordinary selection that English novelist Frederick Marryat noted in his travelogue Diary in America (1840).