Holiday Hotel Menus – 1895 Dining

This past Thanksgiving we explored new and interesting recipes to prepare for a holiday meal. We still wonder if anyone created some of the dishes we suggested. If not, there is still time to shop for ingredients to surprise your guests come Christmas.

If you are too tired to make some of those delicacies there is always the option for dining out. Even in the past, some individuals chose to eat out for their holiday meal. Hotels were well-known for their elaborate feasts. The menus printed in the newspapers along with the names of guests and local residents who partook of the feast.

The Davenport Daily Leader from December 27, 1895 covered the holiday festivities on the front page that year. It listed gatherings for children and dances for older adults among the ongoing amusements that holiday season.

Local hotel holiday menus were also reviewed in the article. Following are the menus for three local hotels with original spelling in the transcription.


The Hotel Downs

Boston Clam Chowder.

Olives.              Lettuce.

Boiled Columbia Salmon, Oyster Sauce.

Celery.             Sliced Tomatoes.

Westphalia Ham and Spinach.

Sirloin of Prime Rib, au Jus – Horse Radish.

Young Turkey, Oyster Dressing.

Domestic Goose with Apple Sauce.

Braised Sweet Breads with French Peaches.

Asparagus on Toast.

Cream Puffs.

Baked Sweet Potatoes.       Mashed Potatoes.

Boiled Onions.

Green Peas.           Sugar Corn.

Lobster Salad, au Mayonnaise.

Plum Pudding, Hard or Brandy Sauce.

Mince Pie.             Custard Pie.

Vanilla Ice Cream.              Assorted Cake.

Mixed Nuts.          Layer Raisins.

Cream Cheese.     Bents Crackers.

Green Tea.            Ceylon Tea.          Oolong Tea.


The Kimball House

Blue Points.

Crème de Volaide.               Green Turtle, Clear.

Almonds.               Olives Farcies.      Celery.   Radishes.

Croustades of Fresh Mushrooms.

Broiled Pompano, Maitre D’Hotel.


Roast Sirloin of Beef.

Mashed Potatoes.                                Stringless Beans.

Turkey, Stuffed with Chestnuts, Cranberry Sauce.

Browned Sweet Potatoes.                  Asparagus.

Loin of Venison, Current Jelly.

New Peas.

Breast of Teal Duck, Ponchartrain.

Lobster, Newburg.

Punch Matasbuino.

Partridge, Truffled, Bread Sauce.

Chicory and Tomato.

Plum Pudding.          Mince Pie.             Pumpkin Pie.

Neapolitaine Ice Cream.      Assorted Cake.

Fruit.       Confectionary.     Charlotte Russe.

Roquefort Cheese.



The St. James

New York Counts.

Consommé of Chicken.     Green Turtle.

Baked Columbia River Salmon, Wine Sauce.

Pommes de Tefre au Larded.

Olives.    Celery.   Lettuce.

Young Radishes.            Young Onions.

Boiled Capon, Egg Sauce.

Haunch of Venison with Jelly.

Saimi of Blue Wing Teal aux Petit Pois.

Broiled Young Fox Squirrel on Toast.

Wild Goose, a la Tip Toe.

Steamed Apple Dumplings, Hard Sauce.

Prime Ribs of Beef, au Jus.                Yorkshire Pudding.

Turkey Stuffed, Cranberry Sauce.

Roast Lamb, with Mint Sauce.

Suckling Pig, Apple Sauce.

Christmas Punch.

Mashed Potatoes.                      Spinnach.

Sweet Potatoes.                    Hubbard Squash.

Asparagus Toast.

Chicken Salad.

English Plum Pudding, Brandy or Hard Sauce.

Home Made Mince Pie.     Lemon Pie.

Vanilla Ice Cream.

Wine Jelly.             Edam and Cream Cheese, Brand Jelly.

Angel Food.               Fruit Cake.            Assorted Cake.

French Kisses.        Gruit.

Tea.        Coffee.       Milk.       Buttermilk.


We assume that no one left these meals hungary. We think the Wild Goose, a la Tip Toe will require some further research by staff to find out how it was prepared.

Hopefully your holiday meal, whether prepared at home or in a restaurant, will be as wonderful and filling as the items mentioned above.

And as always, we encourage you to try a few of these ideas and let us know how they turn out if you do!

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