À la carte
New York City
Taylor’s Saloon was the foremost women’s restaurant in mid-century New York. It was richly furnished in the way that retail businesses then established themselves as respectable public spaces for women. This 56-page menu has a black leather spine with gilt rules, black gutta percha covers, ornamental gilt borders, inlaid mother of pearl, and navy-blue embossed endpapers. Printed advertisements are on the versos, such as this one shown here for Barnum’s Museum. Some of the advertisements for wine and spirits incorporate actual bottle labels. The two menus that will be in the exhibition (the other dated ca. 1862-63) are the only known copies from the early location in the International Hotel on Broadway at Franklin Street. In 1866, Taylor’s moved uptown to the St. Denis Hotel on Broadway at East 11th Street, where it was situated in the fashionable shopping district known as the Ladies’ Mile.