Join the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, along with the Culinary Historians of New York, on March 31, in exploring early restaurants in the United States at “Dining and Social Positioning from Delmonico’s to the Four Seasons.”
Delmonico’s was considered the first fine-dining restaurant in the United States, and served as a stage for the enactment of such high-society rituals. Paul Freedman, a history professor at Yale, will discuss the way upscale restaurants in New York changed over the years, while remaining centers for displays of status in various industries or places to exhibit social standing. Samples of 19th-century restaurant dishes will be served, such as Purée of Potatoes à la Benton, Cheese Crusts, Alligator Pears, Anchovy-butter Canapés Salmon in Sauternes Wine, and Small Cakes for Entremets.
Reservations are required. Call (212) 838-6878 for tickets. Admission is $25 for MVHM and CHNY members, $22 for MVHM and CHNY senior & student members, $40 for non-members and guests, and $10 for full-time students with ID.
The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden presents the period of the Mount Vernon Hotel, which operated from 1826 until 1833.
Constructed in 1799 as a carriage house for a 23-acre estate, and converted into the Mount Vernon Hotel in 1826, this stone building sits on land originally owned by Colonel William Stephens Smith, and his wife Abigail Adams Smith, daughter of John Adams.
This fashionable country resort was popular among New Yorkers who wished to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, which at that time extended only as far north as 14th Street. The Hotel advertised itself as “free from the noise and dust of the public roads, and fitted up and intended for only the most genteel and respectable” clientele. In those days, one could take the stagecoach or steamboat up to 61st street and spend the day at the hotel sipping lemonade in the ladies parlor or playing cards in the gentlemen’s tavern.
In 1833, the house became the home for three generations of a New York City family. In 1905, as the area became more industrialized, the building was purchased by Standard Gas Light Company (today’s Con Edison). The Colonial Dames of America, a woman’s patriotic society purchased the building in 1924. After extensive restoration to the structure, the Colonial Dames opened the site to the public in 1939. The building endures as a rare reminder of an important era in New York City’s history.
The Museum is committed to making your visit as enjoyable and accessible as possible. Because of its landmark status, the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum has limited accessibility for visitors with mobility impairments. The Museum, however, does offer portable stools for those who have difficulty standing, and tours can be customized to “bring the upstairs to the first floor” for those who prefer to limit the climbing of stairs. For visitors with visual impairments, please call the Museum to schedule a guided verbal discription and touch tour. For visitors with hearing impairments, the introductory video is closed-captioned and a brief written tour of the period rooms is available.