This 1855 “bill of fare” is the oldest menu in The Culinary Institute of America’s collection and it is a beauty. Both printed and handwritten, it shows that diners in the Clifton Hotel at Niagara Falls ate and drank very well indeed. The menu is heavy on meat and the wine list is comprehensive for that era. Only rich people could afford to stay or eat here, of course. The Clifton hotel was opened in 1833 by Harmanus ”Monty” Crysler, a New Yorker who moved to Canada. It was lost to fire in 1898 and replacement hotels were built in the following decades. The site is now the Oakes Garden theatre.
Courtesy The Culinary Institute of America
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.
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