The Autocrat Club.
- OPPOSITE TO THE COURT HOUSE -
Saturday Night, April 3, 1890.
Rolls and Butter.
Ravenelle. A cuiggo in sale.
Spaggitti a le Napolitan.
Feaccalla di pallo.
1. Here the Autocrat will Unlock his Crib.
Salamone a la Mayonese.
Festecchi a le sardegnola.
2. Conferring of Title.
Coffee de Turin.
Principe carignario Sigari.
-- Offering --
I was unable to find out anything about Burlando’s – perhaps someone out there with knowledge of Rhode Island history can help? I was also puzzled by the name of the club, and was unable to find out anything about such a thing in Rhode Island. There was a famous club of that name which began in New Orleans in 1909 – nearly two decades after this menu. The New Orleans Autocrat Club was formed by “coloured men”, and became infamous in the 1950’s when it was alleged that a “paper-bag” test (a brown paper bag that is) was used to restrict entry to light-skinned “coloreds”. So, my friends, what was this Rhode Island club, and what happened to Burlando’s restaurant?
What do we make of the execrable Italian wording on the menu? That the menu-writer was not Italian, seems so obvious as to not need suggesting. Was this a spoof of some sort? Any ideas will be gratefully circulated in the hope of some clarity. In the meanwhile – being unable to find a suitable recipe for spaggitti, I give you this interpretation of an Italian dish, from a cookbook of the time.
This is a favorite dish in the writer’s family, having been sent many years ago from Italy by a friend who had learned its composition from her Italian cook. Its name was bestowed by the children of the house. One large cup of chopped meat: two onions minced and fried brown in butter; a pint of cold boiled macaroni or spaghetti; a pint of fresh or cold stewed tomatoes; one teaspoonful of salt: half a teaspoonfful of white pepper. Butter a pudding dish, and put in first a layer of macaroni, then tomato, then meat and some onion and seasoning, continuing this till the dish is full. Cover with fine breadcrumbs, dot with bits of butter, and bake for half an hour. Serve very hot.
The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking, by Helen Campbell, 1893
Quotation for the Day.
Italian restaurants with more than 120 entrees are always disappointing.
Miss Piggy, 'Miss Piggy's Guide to Life' (1981)