Image courtesy of AMC
What real men drank: a triple shot of icy, hi-test gin with only the merest suggestion of vermouth.
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Hair of the dog after a night of boozy pitch meetings; the stalk of celery lends a satiric whiff of healthfulness— especially if munched with alternating drags off a Lucky Strike.
Real men drank gallons—starting at about 11 am—but their terse “Scotch, rocks” orders indicated mellow blended varieties like Johnnie Walker and Chivas Regal.
Hangovers are tough. Good thing your cinch-waisted wifey brews the best joe in town—scooped from a giant canister of Chock Full o’Nuts, then burbled in an ICBM-shaped, stainless-steel percolator.
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The Barn at Bedford Post (954 Old Post Rd, Bedford 914-234-7800) slings a refined version made with Maker’s Mark bourbon; boutique Fee Brothers bitters lends spice while sweet Concord grape juice adds the obligatory plonk note of mulled wine.
The satire is all gone at Blue Hill at Stone Barns (630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills 914-366-9606), where locally grown cukes and tomatoes are hung to extract flavorful, clear juices. Garnished with a horeseradish “ice cube” (and a tomato-and-basil skewer), this drink beats the gray-flannel pants off even those ’60s-era pinnacles of chic—a sustaining “Clamato” or “Beefamato” bloody.
Food fads have their benefits (though they are responsible for abominations like “wraps”). Look for character and diversity in today’s unblended, single-malt Scotches—like the wide selection originating in remote Scottish bogs living behind the tavern bar at Crabtree’s Kittle House (11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua 914-666-8044).
Image courtesy of starbucks coffee
(everywhere on the planet) Baristas, Norah Jones, and four-dollar cups of coffee—in paper, no less. This is progress?
Mad Men Munchies, Yesterday and Today
Image courtesy of AMC
|Sure, cigarettes and highballs figure prominently—but even these killers have to eat. We looked at some classic mid-’60s dishes, and found local examples of culinary progeny.|
Pigs in Blankets
Duh—tiny “cocktail franks” rolled in squares of frozen, Pepperidge Farm puff pastry…because anything in miniature is fancy, right?
It wasn’t a party until you donned your flowy “hostess dress” to pass those trays of rumaki, which—in case you haven’t heard—were bacon slices wrapped around chicken livers, made more exotic by canned water chestnuts.
What says you’ve “made it” better than chilled fingers of pink crustaceans, hooked onto a footed goblet of clotty, kechup-y cocktail sauce? Nothing, that’s what.
For the uninitiated, that’s ground Wisconsin cheese (nuclear-orange cheddar does nicely), whipped with softened cream cheese, and then rolled through chopped walnuts. The orbs are especially enticing when served in weighty softball heft, into which party guests can stab before slathering contents onto Ritz crackers.
Steak, Baby—Big, Bloody, and Bare
Nothing makes you happier than a sharp knife and a dripping cow muscle.
Locavorian Pigs in Blankets
Not-so-little piggies rock on at Sweet Grass Grill (24 Main St, Tarrytown 914-631-0000). Chef Tommy Lasley’s brawny version is made with finely house-ground Stone Barns Berkshire pork and sweet, house-pickled onions.
|Guts and Glory Pâtés
Chicken livers and bacon are back! Look for Chef Vicky Zeph’s (Zephs’ 638 Central Ave, Peekskill 914-736-2159) fabulous pâté made with calves’ and chicken livers. It’s laced with double-smoked bacon strips, and (instead of water chestnuts) it sports the totally un-tacky crunch of house-cured zucchini pickles.
Raw Bar Towers
Shrimp chalices may be gone, but ostentatious shellfish live on. Look for a three-tiered power-tower of lobster, shrimp, oysters, clams, and King crab legs—large enough for a crowd (and priced for one, too). Harvest-on-Hudson (1 River St, Hastings-on-Hudson, 914-478-2000).
Cheese balls may have rolled into the über-kitsch snack du jour (see Amy Sedaris’s “Lil’ Smokey Cheese Ball” in the hipster cookbook, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence), but cheese in its natural form is enjoying a totally un-ironic comeback. Look for fabulous Iberian cheeses at Peniche (175 Main St, White Plains 914-421-5012), which come with tangy quince marmalade and, instead of Ritz crackers, sweetly perfumed slices of anisette torta.
|Steak, Baby, Steak
Some things never change. Look for big drinks and even brawnier steaks at BLT Steak (Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, 221 Main St, White Plains 914-467-5500)—though today, the real high rollers opt for designer beef like Wagyu and Kobe.
Image by Melissa Hom
Midget Avocados, Snails, and “Rack of Venison Salad”
A Mad Men-era menu from the ultra-chic Four Seasons
Where did those high-paid boys (and high-heeled girls) step out for their three-martini lunches? Our favorite mad, mod Westchester residents posed around swank joints like the Four Seasons, where all the high-powered Midtown mucketty-mucks gathered to see and be seen. We did some digging and found a mid-’60s menu from the Four Seasons. Take a look at what constituted the typical three-martini meal.
â¶ â· â¸ [Midget Avocados…]
I guess those were the days when it was okay to laugh about certain things. And on that Virginia Blue Crab, doesn’t “Lump” look so damning—though let’s hear it for the Coriander Prosciutto, albeit served Don Ho-style with pineapple.
â¹ [Snails in Pots]
With all the French verbiage chucked around on this menu, is “snails in pots” the best way to sell this dish? And FYI: the French don’t even eat this stuff, nowadays.
âº [Crêpes Finlandia with Herrings]
What is it with that generation’s fascination with herring? It simply must have been the famous “Crêpes Finlandia” slung at the Four Seasons. (And PS: it also appears in the cold apps as Maatjes herring in Sauce Danoise.)
â» [Broiled Maine Lobster]
$6.50 for a lobster? Are they out of their ever-lovin’ minds?
â¼ [Suckling Kid]
They’ve since passed laws against this sort of stuff.
â½ [Filet of Beef Poivre Flambe]
Because nothing says fancy like a fireball. Plus, you can light a Pall Mall off it.
â¾ â¿ [Rack of Venison and Cold Rib Slices]
Note: both are under “Spring Salads.”
Hey, there’s this leafy green stuff out there—it’s called lettuce.
[Beefsteak Tomato, Carved at Table]
Did the tomato swing through the dining room on a wheeled cart draped in linen? You bet it did!
[French Fried Potatoes]
In case you’re still hungry after your slimming rack of venison salad.