Whether they were feasting on pickled oysters, jellied plums, or macaroni and cheese, the men who occupied our nation’s highest office knew how to eat well. Now, the New York City steakhouse Delmonico’s is giving diners the chance to eat like a president without receiving a special invitation from the White House. From November 1 to November 8, the historic restaurant will offer a "Presidential Palates" menu featuring meals served to commanders-in-chief spanning from Martin Van Buren to George W. Bush.
The limited-time menu is a collaboration between Delmonico’s executive chef Billy Oliva and former executive residence White House chef John Moeller. Guests will have their choice of meals that originated in the White House during the Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. administrations as well as dishes served to presidents when they visited the restaurant.
Catering to customers in downtown Manhattan since 1837, Delmonico’s is the oldest fine dining restaurant in America. Its rich history and iconic reputation mean that a number of presidential clientele have passed through its doors, including Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and John F. Kennedy. When planning out the special dinner, Chef Oliva sifted through old Delmonico’s menus from the New York Public Library to see what dishes presidents had been served in the past.
The items he chose to recreate include Turkey a la King, changed from the traditional chicken especially for John F. Kennedy, a roast duck and sweet potato bisque served to the notorious epicurean Martin Van Buren, oysters and macaroni pie served to Chester A. Arthur, and beef goulash, a Richard Nixon favorite. "Presidential Palates" even features a dish taken from Teddy Roosevelt’s Delmonico’s birthday menu: Crab “flake” a la Newberg, with cornflake crusted king crab and caviar.
For Chef Moeller’s contribution to the menu he selected special dishes served during his tenure at the White House. The Bush’s Christmas lamb chops, osso buco of salmon served to the prime minister of Italy, and Laura Bush’s favorite chocolate torte are a few of the highlights.
The culinary experience will be available alongside Delmonico’s standard menu in the week leading up to voting day on November 8. Given the divisiveness of this year’s election cycle, incredible food from bipartisan palates sounds like the perfect recipe for bringing together diners from across the aisle.
You can enjoy a sneak peek of the menu offerings below.
President Kennedy's turkey a la king. Image credit: Paul Wagtouicz
President Arthur's oyster and macaroni pie. Image credit: Paul Wagtouicz
President Clinton's osso buco of salmon with diver scallops. Image credit: Paul Wagtouicz
President Jefferson's rice pudding with peach compote. Image credit: Paul Wagtouicz
President Van Buren's roast duck and sweet potato bisque. Image credit: Paul Wagtouicz
President Teddy Roosevelt's birthday crab “flake” a la Newberg. Image credit: Paul Wagtouicz
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