Waldorf-Astoria, New Year's Eve

Waldorf-Astoria, New York, N.Y., December 31, 1942

The cover of this New Year's Eve menu reflects the mood in the country during World War II. Superimposed over an image of the grand Waldorf-Astoria hotel is a woman who looks up and raises a glass of sparkling champagne to a uniformed officer who is also superimposed above the hotel and blue sky (the only color on the menu). This design illustrates the imposing magnificence of the Art-Deco style building and the spirit of the New Years celebration, while also paying tribute to the servicemen who were fighting overseas.

The contrast of the hotel’s opulence with the acknowledgment of the sacrifices of the country was mirrored in the short, fixed price menu.  That New Year’s Eve, diners ate clear oxtail; a choice of creamed emince of chicken with sherry sauce, smoked Virginia ham with Waldorf salad (naturally!), or scrambled eggs and bacon country style; fig delight and fancy cakes, and a demi tasse. The evening program features Zarin and his orchestra, Yola at the piano, the Three Pitchmen, and "Incidental Entertainment"! Tucked inside the menu is a die-cut champagne bucket which opens to reveal a significant (and expensive!) drink list.
 
From the Culinary Institute of America Menu Collection, menu 1-2280.