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Menu for 70's night

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok so retro is making a bit of a comeback and I am planning a 70's night at the restaurant for May/June, the decor and the music will be the easy part but I am looking for ideas for the menu. I know that a lot of the food from that era was pretty awful but there were some good ones that are still done today like bouillabaisse, done well it is delicious. I was in my early teens at that time so I am in need of a little help for this project. I am looking for the crepes suzette rather than the black forest gateaux if you know what I mean. All suggestions gratefully recieved.
post #2 of 10
Lobster Thermidor. :D
post #3 of 10
here is the coolest website. scroll down to 1970's and click on Popular Foods and Menus.
Food Timeline: food history & historic recipes
post #4 of 10
Interesting about a trip down memory lane.....I miss some of those dishes.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link shipscook quite a few of those dishes are still being served locally so I have to be careful that I don't offend anyone. The ubiquitous prawn cocktail is definately out.
post #6 of 10
Funny, lobster thermidor and crepes suzettes are still in my top ten! Ah, nostalgia...
post #7 of 10
Dunno whether the food trends in the UK mirrored the US, but a few things I remember are
  • Fondue. Fondue restaurants. Fondue parties. Fondue sets. This reached almost frenzied popularity, at least on the West Coast.
  • Catalina Dressing. A very sweet, slightly tomatoey salad dressing by Kraft. Ideally, served on a salad of nothing but iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, maybe some shaved carrot or croutons. We kids, especially, were in love with this stuff.
  • Skillet ground-beef stroganoff. Actually, ground beef versions of all kinds of classics seemed to be popular. Hamburger stew. Hamburger goulash. Hamburger steak. You get the picture.
  • Sloppy Joes. See ground beef, above. This one was particularly popular with us kids.
  • TV Dinners. Especially with things like fried chicken, salisbury steak, an the like.
  • Casseroles. Yes, they never really go out of style, but there seemed to be almost an obsession with anything one-dish that could be done in the oven, probably because of all the moms who'd begun returning to the workforce...
I'm sure I'll think of others, but those are the first that come to mind...
Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.
-M.F.K. Fisher
Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.
-M.F.K. Fisher
post #8 of 10
Sounds like you're thinking more about fifties food that held-over.

The Seventies was a decade of enormous change in cuisine. It was the time "Nouvelle" and "California Cuisine" came in and swept away the old, heavy dishes. Chefs and restaurateurs like Paul Bocuse and Alice Waters were revolutionaries sweeping away the stodgy, heavy food that dominated good restaurants in the Sixties. What passes for "modern" food today is an extension of

Some of the cookbooks that dominated the decade were La Technique (Pepin) and Mastering the Art of French Cooking (by Childs et alia), the wonderful Time Life Cookbook series, The New York Times Cookbook, and the old double volume "Gourmet Cookbook (from Gourmet magazine). It was the era that serious cooks finally began to grasp what James Beard was saying about simplicity, and the value of regionalism. Just like today, everyone had a copy of Joy of Cooking -- which, by the way is a great place to look for recipes.

Julia Child and Graham Kerr (the "Galloping Gourmet"), taught us all to cook at the ultimate democratic school, TV.

If you have the time, try and locate Pelliprat's big book, which is usually sold under the title French Culinary Art, or something like that. Don't worry too much about the title, if it's big, lots of pictures, and by Pelliprat, it's the same book. Pelliprat was the chef who dragged cooking from the Escoffier days to the 20th Century. That might not sound like a big deal, but it was. He more or less started Le Cordon Bleu and was the chief instructor there for decades. His student/disciples included Julia Childs, Paul Bocuse, Jacques Pepin, Madeleine Kammins, and so many more. The changes in cuisine I talked about were partly in reaction to Pelliprat's cooking, and partly an extension of his ideas. The book will teach you to cook, like no other.

That having been said, it's also an incredible trove of heavy, over-sauced, passe dishes in over-formal presentations. If you want the past, it's got the past.

Some other ideas:

Caesar Salad - specially if prepared table-side
Savory crepes - there were national chains of crepe places, but Crepes Suzette had pretty much disappeared.
Funnel cakes started to trend
Soul food left the ghettos and hit the nice neighborhoods
Pizza crested (and crusted, too!)
Crunchy, gabacho style tacos -- as Taco Bell began to spread across the land
Szechwan Chinese food
Rice pilaf (with orzo)
Hamburger helper
California Cabarnets (Chardonnay was the eighties)
Imported beers -- Dos Equis, Heinikin, Pauli Girl
Fresca -- ask your mom
Tab -- ditto

It was an era of singles' bars: Harvey Wallbangers were "the girly" drink. Other ladies' favorites were Bailey's (no rocks), "Sex on the Beach," and "The Orgasm" as in, "Bartender, I'd like another [giggle] Orgasm " (Bailey's on the rocks with a splash of Amaretto). Amaretto in a snifter was yet another. Then there were "Fuzzy Navels," and "Warm Fuzzies." Long Island iced tea entered the scene and was popular with Both sexes. White and Black Russians, tequila sunrises and tequila generally.

Hope this helps,
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your responses I will have fun with this :)
post #10 of 10
souffles, mousses, frozen fruit dacqueries, kahlua and coffee......
Becks, crepes.....lots of crepe places, country french.....1970's chocolate became fruffy....Godiva hit the major populace, I can remember spending alot of money when I was 16 just to try a box of Godiva, my dad had a cow and to this day brings it up. 33 years.....
Nikolai's Roof in Atlanta was going strong with umpteen flavored vodkas. The Abbey theme restaurant also in Atlanta had fried herbs which was interesting at the time. Aquavit..... how about white chocolate banana cream pie.
Artisan breads were hitting the scene.
Russian Tea Room was thriving.
Coffee was still just decaf or regular.
Tea was liptons or tetley
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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