04 September 2012

Grand Canal Dinner - 1824

On Saturday, Mr. Sykes, of the New-York Coffee-House, gave his annual dinner, in honor of Clinton and the Grand Canal. The company to the number of 250, assembled at three o'clock, when they sat down to the most sumptuous entertainment consisting of every variety of fish, flesh and fowl, and every delicacy that our extensive markets could supply. Gen. Robert Swartwout presided. Five tables were spread, each of which was tastefully ornamented with flags and inscriptions. At the head of the first table, stood a temple with the colonnades on every side, and from the centre of which rose a lofty tower, surmounted with flowers, and the whole surrounded with statutes of classical design. From different parts floated banners of blue and white silk, with inscriptions in letters of gold. The ornaments were tastefully arranged, and produced a happy effect. The wines supplied for the occasion, were of the highest and richest flavors, and imparted a zest to a great number of toasts which were given in the course of the evening.

That the table literally "groaned under the weight of the feast," will not be doubted by any one who peruses the following bill of fare which composed the entertainment: —

First Course. — Green turtle, oyster and oxtail soup; boiled and barbecued fish; chickens; ducks; geese; turkeys; hams, tongues, veal alamode; legs and chinese lamb; fricasees; oyster, chicken, bird and rabbit pies; roast, corned and alamode beef.

Second Course. — Gallipagos turtle ragout, do. steaks; green turtle callipash, do callipee, do. steaks; turkeys a la Francaise; snipe; plover; woodcock; quails; partridges; teal; widgeon; broad-bills; black ducks; wood ducks; brant; canvass-back ducks; saddles and haunches of venison.

Dessert. — Plumb, marrow, Vermicelli, and lemon puddings; apple, cranberry and guava pies; raspberry tartlets; jellies; blancmanges, syllabubs; fruit.

The price of tickets to this dinner, was but fifty cents — a fact which we state simply to show the great abundance and variety with which our markets are daily stored. We may safely say, there is not a city or country in the universe, where such an entertainment could be furnished for such a moderate price.

November 15, 1824. Boston Commercial Gazette 66(46): 4.