Toasting Mad Men Season 7 with the Classic Algonquin Cocktail

 Toasting Mad Men Season 7 with the Classic Algonquin Cocktail

Don Draper at Algonquin in Seasons 7 promotional images

In the promotional images for Mad Men’s Season 7, Don Draper waits in front of New York’s famed Algonquin Hotel.

It’s not the first time the Algonquin Hotel has appeared in Mad Men. We’ve chosen the Classic Algonquin Cocktail to toast Season 7, offering  the Algonquin Hotel’s recipe and a look at Mad Men’s history with the Manhattan landmark.

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The lobby of the Algonquin in the early Mad Men era (photo: Algonquin Hotel)


The famed Algonquin Round Table, for which one of the midtown hotel’s current restaurants is named, was a group of actors, humorists, newspaper writers, and critics that met at a round table in the Algonquin for lunch every day from 1919 to 1929. Membership was fluid, but included, at one time or another, the sportswriter Heywood Broun, editor of the New Yorker  Harold Ross, actor and humorist Robert Benchley, actress Tallulah Bankhead, and actor and comedian Harpo Marx.

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Classic Algonquin Cocktail (photo: Algonquin Hotel)

Bartender Rodney Landers of the Blue Bar, and previously of the Plaza Hotel, recommended the classic Algonquin cocktail as befitting two advertising
executives meeting quietly to discuss an employment matter. Made with a “top-shelf rye whiskey base,” the drink also includes vermouth and pineapple juice as its two other principal ingredients. While Jim Hobart is a very persuasive man, we doubt even a couple of Algonquin cocktails, as fine as they are, would have persuaded Don to jump ship from Sterling Cooper.

Classic Algonquin Cocktail from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 coclktail

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The Classic Algonquin Cocktail from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin (SmartPop, 2011). Made with a “top-shelf rye whiskey base,” the drink also includes vermouth and pineapple juice as its two other principal ingredients


  • 2-1/4 oz rye whiskey, preferably top-shelf small-batch whiskey
  • 3/4 oz vermouth
  • 3/4 oz pineapple juice
  • Lemon twist, for garnish


  1. Pour whiskey, vermouth, and pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker and shake.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
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Aloha Mad Men: Toast Season 6 with a Blue Hawaii

We’re counting down the days to thhawaii Aloha Mad Men: Toast Season 6 with a Blue Hawaiie Season 6 Mad Men premiere on April 7.  Given the promotional images of Don and Meghan lounging on a beach in Hawaii – Meghan with blue drink in hand —  we chose to toast the new season with the Blue Hawaii cocktail. This tropical concoction made its Mad Men debut in Season 4, Episode 3 (“The Good News”), when Joan Harris prepares a Hawaiian-themed New Year’s Eve dinner for husband Greg shortly before he deploys to Vietnam.

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Blue Hawaii from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, courtesy of Holly Korus (

A popular cocktail in the 1960s, the Blue Hawaii, grew out of Americans’ infatuation with the nation’s newest state. Curaçao is a liqueur made from the oil of dried laharas orange peels grown on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. The oranges aren’t blue, of course. Colorants are used to make blue, orange, yellow and green curaçao.

Though named for the Aloha State, the Blue Hawaii is not truly of Hawaiian origin. The Bols liquor company, maker of blue curaçao, was looking for a way to increase sales of the product and asked a bartender at Waikiki’s Hawaiian Village Hotel to come up with a cocktail that would parlay Hawaii’s popularity into revenues.

Aloha, Season 6!

Recipe from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook (SmartPop, 2011).
Adapted from Sippin’ Safari: In Search of the Great “Lost” Tropical Drink Recipes and the People Behind Them by Jeff Berry (SLG Publishing, 2007) and Gourmet Magazine (June, 1969).

Joan’s Blue Hawaii

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 drink

DSC 0006 Aloha Mad Men: Toast Season 6 with a Blue Hawaii


  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ½ ounces light rum
  • 1 ounce sweet and sour mix (see recipe for homemade sweet and sour mix)
  • 1 ounce Blue Curaçao
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 small cube fresh pineapple, plus a wedge for garnish
  • 1 maraschino cherry, for garnish
  • Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice


  1. To make the drink: In the container of a blender, mix pineapple juice, rum, sweet and sour mix, blue Curaçao, lemon juice and small cube of pineapple. Add ½ cup crushed ice and blend.
  2. Pour into a punch glass and garnish with a cherry and a small wedge of fresh pineapple.
  3. To make the Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix: Combine water and sugar in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and cool.
  4. In a pitcher, combine syrup, lemon juice and lime juice. Refrigerate until cold.
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Are you ready for Season 6? Try some Mad Men Trivia!

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Geeks Who Drink offers a challenging Mad Men trivia night

Ready for Mad Men’s Season 6 this spring? Then whet your appetite for the upcoming season with a Mad Men trivia night. To celebrate the Season 5 finale, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook authors, editor Leah Wilson and Mad Men trivia hound Josh Benton, took on other Mad Men fans in a trivia battle sponsored by Geeks Who Drink at Common Ground in Allston, Massachusetts. Our team, The Blankenships (named for one of Don’s many secretaries), duked it out with teams such as Roger in the Sky with Diamonds and Sterling Cooper Draper Holloway. The Blankenships, even with our advanced Mad Men culinary knowledge, were only hanging in because of Josh’s extraordinary memory.

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The Blankenships captured 5th place

The Blankenships went in confident, were in second place for a while, but were soon trailing in 5th place, where we landed at the end of the night. But we we glad we could offer a prize — a copy of our cookbook — to second place winners, Tim Gilman and Lauren Feinberg!


IMG 3609 283x300 Are you ready for Season 6? Try some Mad Men Trivia!

Second place winners Roger in the Sky with Diamonds, a/k/a Tim and Lauren, took home The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.

To help refresh your memory for Mad Men Season 6,  Geeks Who Drink generously shared a few trivia questions, all involving snarky Pete Campbell. Test your Pete Campbell IQ and send us your answers, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.

What global event was going on when Betty discovered she IS pregnant, and Peggy told Pete that she WAS pregnant?

Roger and Don gave Pete a verbal beat-down after he pitched his “Backbone of America” idea to what client?

Finish Pete’s airplane joke: “Some of the passengers were on their way to a golf tournament. Apparently, the minute the plane hit, the bay turned BLANK.”

Questions courtesy of Geeks Who Drink.  Thanks to them for providing excellent Mad Men trivia, and see the event recap here.Comm

Mohonk Holidays Mad Men Style: Canapes, Cocktails (and our Popcorn Ball recipe!)

Mohonk 300x224 Mohonk Holidays Mad Men Style:  Canapes, Cocktails (and our Popcorn Ball recipe!)

Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York

To visit Mohonk Mountain House is to step back in time. This breathtaking hotel, opened in 1869, is set on the rocky ledges surrounding Lake Mohonk; it’s a two-mile drive through spectacular grounds from the main entrance to the lodge itself.

 Mohonk Holidays Mad Men Style:  Canapes, Cocktails (and our Popcorn Ball recipe!)

Judy at Mohonk.

We can easily imagine Mad Men characters at the New Paltz, New York resort, or the giants of the Gilded Age such as Cornelius Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie. The Mohonk Mountain House is one of America’s grand old hotels, where the fireplace, not a television, is standard in every guest room, visitors read by the fire, ice skate, enjoy live music in the evening and generally find time to socialize and relax in ways that now seem old-fashioned. (Having said that, there is wireless Internet access, but we suggest using it as little as possible.) This is a place to indulge yourself in many ways, including the exceptional dining room.

What better setting for “How to Holidays,” Mohonk’s weekend of activities designed to help guests celebrate the holidays in mid-century Mad Men style?

Following our morning presentation of The Unofficial Mad Cookbook, Head Chef Jim Palmeri amplified our discussion about the influence of Julia Child and Graham Kerr, chefs he watched on TV as child, on mid-century culinary trends in America. Chef Jim also

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Sardi’s Hearts of Palm Salad is a festive holiday dish

demonstrated holiday appetizers from our book including Sardi’s Hearts of Palm Salad and several canapés. Both are quick and simple holiday recipes – and Sardi’s Hearts of Palm salad has festive red and green colors making it especially suitable for the season. Palmeri noted the contrast in textures between the pimiento and the hearts of palm as adding zest to the salad. We’re interested in trying fresh hearts of palm, as he suggested, instead of the canned variety typically found in grocery stores, which can be ordered online.

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The authors, Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin, with Mohonk Executive Chef Jim Palmeri.

In the afternoon, pastry chef Sara Parker demonstrated two vintage holiday desserts from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Popcorn Balls (see recipe below). Our Pineapple Upside Down Cake can be made in a skillet, and as Parker told the audience, the cake is foolproof and delicious. The guests seemed to agree.  We’ve never seen four cakes disappear so quickly! Sara also made our Popcorn Balls, quick and perfect for a fun cooking project with kids during the holidays. Our recipe, made with marshmallows tastes like Rice Krispie Treats, but with popcorn. (See our Popcorn Ball recipe below.)

Wine Enthusiast Spirits Editor and author Kara Newman kicked off cocktail hour with a mini Mad Men cocktail primer featuring three classic Mad Men drinks, all beginning with “M”: the Martinez, the Manhattan and the Mai Tai –- all ideal holiday concoctions. We were won over by the Martinez, circa 1884, a forerunner of the Martini made with sweet vermouth, sweet gin, maraschino liqueur and orange bitters. It’s rich amber color is easy on the eyes and it goes down smoothly! The Mai Tai, Trader Vic’s original, (also a recipe in our book) was the best we’ve tasted,

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Kara Newman mixes three classic mid-century holiday cocktails

expertly mixed by Mohonk’s staff! Many guests asked if these cocktails could be created in large batches. As it happens, Kara’s new book Cocktails for a Crowd:  Punches, Pitchers and More, being released by Chronicle Books this spring, answers that question. At the end of Kara’s presentation, we raised a glass to the recent anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition (December 5) and to the holidays!

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Judy and Kara Newman toast the holidays with a Martinez and a Mai Tai

We’re happy to share a holiday recipe for Popcorn Balls from our book, as seen in Season 4, Episode 2, (“Christmas Comes But Once a Year”).

During the festivities at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Christmas party in 1964 a conga line forms and snakes through the office, past tables laden with holiday treats. We spotted a classic next to the candy canes: a bowl of red and white popcorn balls.

PopcornBalls 150x150 Mohonk Holidays Mad Men Style:  Canapes, Cocktails (and our Popcorn Ball recipe!)There are accounts, perhaps apocryphal, that Native Americans gave English settlers in Massachusetts popcorn balls made with maple syrup at the first Thanksgiving. It is at least fair to say that popcorn balls bound with syrup or molasses have been around for well over a century, according to Andrew F. Smith, author of Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America (Smithsonian, 2001). Popcorn’s various forms, including popcorn threaded onto lengths of string, have been a part of festive decorations for Christmas and other holidays at least since the late nineteenth century. In the 1960s, popcorn balls were popular Halloween treats and sold at country fairs, ball games, and the circus.

Popcorn ball recipes proliferated in the United States after the Civil War. The techniques and ingredients varied, but the basic concept was the same: use a heated adhering agent—syrup, sugar, or molasses—then add salt and butter and use the agent to shape the popcorn into a sphere. Flavorings such as chocolate, peppermint and vanilla were eventually added, as were foods like strawberries, nuts, and marshmallows to embellish the original. Additives such as food coloring could turn a normally white popcorn ball into an edible Christmas decoration, like the red and white popcorn balls on display at the Sterling Cooper Christmas party.

At the insistence of Lee Garner, Jr., the firm’s most important client, Roger Sterling dons a Santa suit at the holiday party. He looks pretty forlorn wearing it, but maybe a popcorn ball will restore his Christmas cheer. That and a few martinis.

Popcorn Ball Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


PopcornBalls Mohonk Holidays Mad Men Style:  Canapes, Cocktails (and our Popcorn Ball recipe!)

Adapted from BETTY CROCKER’S NEW BOYS AND GIRLS COOKBOOK (Golden Press-Western, 1965), this recipe calls for marshmallow to make festive popcorn balls for the holidays -- with a taste reminiscent of Rice Krispie Treats.


  • 7 cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¹⁄₄ teaspoon salt


  1. Place popcorn in large buttered bowl. Heat marshmallows, butter, and salt in the top of a double boiler, or in the microwave, until melted.
  2. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn and stir gently to coat. Grease hands with butter and quickly shape popcorn into 2-inch balls. Wrap in wax paper.
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Mad Men Thanksgiving Recipe: Barbetta’s Pears Baked in Red Wine alla Piemontese

This week, The Village Voice’s“Fork in the Road” blog chose a dessert recipe from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook for its perfect Vegan Thankgiving menu. Here’s the recipe courtesy of Barbetta, the oldest Italian restaurant in New York and the oldest New York restaurant still owned by its founding family, and a few words about its connection to Mad Men. Happy Thanksgiving!

Season 4, Episode 8
“The Summer Man”
After Bethany van Nuys, one of Don Draper’s post-separation dates, complains that the Benihana Steak House isn’t very intimate, their next evening out is at Barbetta, an elegant Piemontese restaurant on West 46th Street. We see Don and Bethany looking over the menu but we never hear them order or see their food. We asked Laura Maioglio, Barbetta’s current owner and the daughter of the restaurant’s founder Sebastiano, what she would have recommended for a romantic dinner for two in 1962.

For dessert she recommended pears baked in red wine alla Piemontese which also first appeared on Barbetta’s menu in 1962, and would have been the perfect way for Don and Bethany to keep the warmth of the evening going. Once you try Barbetta’s Pears Baked in Red Wine alla Piemontese you may agree that no pear has ever given its life for a better cause.

Barbetta's Pears Baked in Red Wine alla Piemontese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time:

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

pears Mad Men Thanksgiving Recipe: Barbettas Pears Baked in Red Wine alla Piemontese

A classic Piemontese dessert recipe for pears baked in red wine sauce from New York's oldest family Italian restaurant, Barbetta.


  • 6 ripe Bosc pears
  • 2 cups red wine
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ cup lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Wash and dry pears.
  2. Place pears in a baking pan that accommodates 6 pears (lay them flat).
  3. In a small bowl, pour the red wine and add sugar, cloves, cinna­mon stick, and lemon juice. Stir until sugar dissolves. Pour mixture into the baking pan and place in oven.
  4. Turn pears after 5 minutes and brush with liquid in pan.
  5. Bake for approximately 1 hour (cooking time may vary depending on size and ripeness of pears), continuing to brush the pears every 10 minutes. Pears should be slightly crinkly.
  6. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Serve with extra red wine sauce.
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Retro Cooking from the Cookbook Maven: Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide Pick & Giveaway 7

Aside from the Mad Men era establishments Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 1962 The Cookbook Maven Retro Cooking from the Cookbook Maven:  Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide Pick & Giveaway 7that contributed recipes to our book, we relied on dozens of vintage cookbooks from the 1950s and ‘60s to create a cookbook true to the era, including two classics that were always on display on Betty Draper’s kitchen counter, Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (the so-called “red plaid” for its distinctive cover) and Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook.

We turned to other classic cookbooks of the era, as well, such as Clementine Paddleford’s How America Eats for the Lindy’s cheesecake recipe,  and other lesser known cookbooks such as Nina Mortellito’s The Small Kitchen Cookbook, to show us how Joan would gave made a Crown Roast in her tiny New York apartment.The Cookbook Maven on Etsy 219x300 Retro Cooking from the Cookbook Maven:  Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide Pick & Giveaway 7

If you or your favorite retro cook enjoys delving into mid-century recipes, or you’re planning your next Mad Men party, consider our favorite online source for vintage cookbooks from the 1920s-1970s, The Cookbook Maven.

The Cookbook Maven has put together a nifty mid-century holiday cooking bundle just for fans of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook. W Retro Cooking from the Cookbook Maven:  Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide Pick & Giveaway 7e’ll let her tell you about her great giveaway:

“Toss on that apron over your crinolines (or smoking jacket) and let’s get cooking, Mad Men style!

The first gift is Good Housekeeping’s Appetizer Book (1958), full of festive holiday canapés and cocktail accompaniments, such as Crab Meat Spread, Christmas Canapés and Christmas Wreath Appetizers.

Next, some kitschy vintage plastic party picks (1960s) for skewering those martini olives and cocktail meatballs!

Then, a poultry cookbook from the Culinary Arts Institute (1951) — your guide to preparing turkey, duck and more, with recipes from: Roast Turkey to Duck a la Creole, Broiled Squab Chicken with Sautéed Pineapple, and more.

We round out this holiday bundle with some vintage cookie cutters (1960s) and a copy of The Cookie Book (1951), also from the Culinary Arts Institute, with yummy recipes for molded, rolled, filled, drop cookies, Christmas cookies and bars and more.”

Everyone’s a winner: The Cookbook Maven is offering 15% off any order for Mad Men fans: just use the code MadMenMenu! Bon Appetit!

Enter to win The Cookbook Maven’s Giveaway Bundle!

New York, New York

Last week the Associated Press travel editor interviewed us about our recommendations for iconic Mad Men haunts for fans touring New York. (Read the article here.) There are so many outstanding choices, it’s hard to decide, but here are a just few of our favorites.

It’s an easy stroll from the mythical Madison Avenue offices of Sterling Cooper to our first stop, Grand Central Station. Take a few moments to soak in and admire this architectural New York, New York gem. You’ll be transported to an era when Diamond Jim Brady might have board his private coach car for a trip to Chicago. When you’re ready for lunch, step into one of Diamond Jim’s favorites, The Grand Central Oyster Bar, located below street level in the train station. This was and is a favorite of the denizens of Madison Avenue, too, and the likely location for Don and Roger’s famous two-dozen oyster lunch (with alcohol, of course). Roger compared eating oysters to kissing a mermaid. You can choose from dozens of types of fresh oysters. Unless you already have a favorite (Wellfleet, Bluestones, Chesapeake to name a few), ask your server for a sampler.

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Doug Quinn of P.J. Clarke’s (AP Photo)

Walk off lunch by wandering the great avenues of midtown — Madison, Park and Fifth – until you’ve worked up a thirst. Then stop by P.J. Clarke’s on Third Avenue and 55th Street and order a Vesper or Side Car from legendary barkeep Doug Quinn. This is where the Sterling Cooper crowd often gathered after work. (Tell Doug we sent you!)

When the dinner bell rings, head for Barbetta at 321 West 46th Street, the elegant northern Italian restaurant where Don takes young Bethany Van Nuys on their first date. Or, try Sardi’s, the culinary heart of Broadway, where you’re likely to spot someone famous, either in person or on the walls in the hundreds of caricatures of legendary actors and

 New York, New York

The walls of Sardi’s are lined with hundreds of caricatures.

entertainers who have seated themselves there. You can order exactly what Don orders for himself and Bobbi Barrett because it’s still on the menu: Steak Tartar. He also orders a dish no longer on the menu, but it’s one of our very favorite recipes from The Unofficial Mad Men CookbookHearts of Palm Salad. If it’s a succulent, perfectly prepared steak you’re after, served with rich New York ambience, go where Don and Pete Campbell go to entertain Pete’s friend Horace Cook: Keens Steakhouse at 73 West 36th Street. Order the Caesar Salad and they’ll prepare it tableside, a real touch of class.

If it’s a Tuesday night between now and the end of Season 5 of Mad Men in June, you can take in jazz and a Mad Men-inspired cocktail at The Pierre Hotel’s Two E Bar/Lounge (2 East 61st Street), the successor to the Tea Room where Don meets Rachel Menken for coffee to try and relight an old flame. And when it’s time to turn in The Roosevelt Hotel at 45 East 45th Street is offering a special “Mad Men in the City” package from now until June 30. It includes a complimentary copy of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook! Many Mad Men scenes are set at The Roosevelt, so create your own scene where Don takes up residence after his split from Betty.

If you find yourself heading uptown on the West Side, for either a night cap or for an early morning libation, visit The Dublin House at 225 West 79th Street. This is where Joan’sdh harp 215x300 New York, New York husband, Dr. Greg Harris, gets loaded one evening before coming home. Years ago, The Dublin House was a rough and tumble neighborhood bar where construction workers and newly arrived sailors whose shipped had docked at the West Side piers would start the day with a shot of whiskey and a beer. In those days the Rusty Nail was one of only two or three cocktails served at The Dublin House, though the cocktail menu has expanded over the years. As it says on their web site, “back in the day, people stopped in for a couple before work, so The Dublin House has always opened at 8 am. Always has, still does, every day except Sunday when it opens at noon.” You could always choose to start your Mad Men tour here, early in the morning, but don’t overdo it.

Whether you’re a New Yorker or a visitor, be sure to enter our Dine Like a Mad Man Sweepstakes. You could win drinks and dinner at some of these and other Mad Men establishments. And if you aren’t going to be in the Big Apple in the near future, but want to get your Mad Man on, check out our list of Mad Men inspired events around the country.

The Russian Tea Room

hearth13 300x181 The Russian Tea RoomThe Russian Tea Room on West 57th Street is never mentioned or depicted in Mad Men, but it’s just the kind of place a Madison Avenue ad executive would have frequented in the 1960s. And it found its way into The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook because it’s famous for one of Roger Sterling’s favorite dishes, Chicken Kiev. When Roger fixes the recently divorced Don up with young Bethany Van Nuys, he has his secretary book a table for Don and Bethany at the now defunct Jimmy’s LaGrange, another popular hangout for the Madison Avenue crowd. “They have Chicken Kiev,” says Roger to Don. “The butter squirts everywhere.”

Picture 163 300x206 The Russian Tea RoomThe muddled history of Chicken Kiev is covered in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, but if you want to try The Russian Tea Room’s version, on the menu since the 1940s, go to our Facebook page and enter our “Dine Like a Mad Man” Sweepstakes, because one of the first prizes is a generous gift certificate courtesy of The Russian Tea Room.

ball room07 300x181 The Russian Tea RoomFounded in 1927 by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet, The Russian Tea Room has hosted its share of the rich and famous. Maybe you’ll be seated in one of the intimate booths once occupied by Woody Allen, Madonna, Rudolf Nureyev, or another of the famous guests who fancy fine Russian cuisine. Located next to Carnegie Hall, many a performing artist has repaired to the Tea Room after a bravura performance.

If you took your lunch with Don and Roger in, say, 1963 at The Russian Tea Room, in addition to the Chicken Kiev you might have tried the Boeuf a la Stroganoff, Pelmeni (stuffed dumplings made with unleavened dough) or Red Borscht with pickled beets. By the way, the authors of The Russian Tea Room Cookbook concur with Roger: the way to identify a perfectly prepared Chicken Kiev is “a spurt of butter at the first touch of knife and fork.”

The Two E Bar/Lounge

Again this week we continue our profiles of the New York dining establishments that have contributed prizes to our “Dine Like a Mad Man” Sweepstakes which you can enter by going to our Facebook page and clicking “Dine Like a Mad Man.”

1blackfray 300x182 The Two E Bar/LoungeThe Pierre Hotel on East 61st Street features in several Mad Men episodes. It’s where Peggy Olson and Herman “Duck” Phillips have a tryst (Season 3, Episode 7, “Seven Twenty-Three”) and, when the principals of Sterling Cooper break away from the British owners to start their new agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the temporarily set up shop in Room 435 of The Pierre (Season 3, Episode 13, “Shut the Door, Have a Seat”).

The Pierre’s debut in Mad Men came in Season 1, Episode 6 (“Babylon”). Whenmad men irish coffee 219x300 The Two E Bar/Lounge Don tries to resurrect his romance with department store heiress Rachel Menken, she agrees to meet him, but just for lunch, at the Tea Room at The Pierre. Don tries to arm her up by suggesting she have Irish Coffee, but she firmly demurs. “Coffee,” she counters.

Today The Pierre is part of the Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces and underwent a $100 million renovation in 2009. The Tea Room is history, but the hotel’s Two E Bar/Lounge serves the Irish Coffee Don offered to Rachel. (You can find the recipe, courtesy of The Two E Bar/Lounge, in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.) Tipping their hat to Mad Men, the Two E Bar/Lounge has compiled a menu of Mad Men cocktails they serve every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 pm as part of their jazz series.

The Pierre New York The Two E Bar/Lounge

The Pierre

An evening for two at The Two E Bar/Lounge is one of several fine prizes in our sweepstakes. If you’re the lucky winner try the  Pierre Salad (maine lobster, cucumber, black truffle vinaigrette), the Tuna, Avocado and Mango Tartare or one of their other future classics. Oh, and top it off with the Classic Irish Coffee, of course!

Gather Round the Round Table

Again this week we continue our tour of the New York restaurants that generously donated prizes for our “Dine Like a Mad Man” Sweepstakes, which you can enter from our Facebook page by clicking “Dine Like a Mad Man.”

Today we visit The Algonquin Hotel on West 44th Street, home of the famed Round Table, for which one of the hotel’s current restaurants is named. Between Gather Round the Round Table1919 and 1929 a distinguished group of writers, actors, humorists, wits, wags and critics met for lunch every day at The Algonquin and sat at a round table in the hotel restaurant. Membership was fluid and at one time or another included famed sportswriter Heywood Broun, New Yorker editor Harold Ross, actress Tallulah Bankhead and Harpo Marx. (We assume the silent Harpo of the silver screen actually spoke during lunch.) The repartee was quick. According to

 Gather Round the Round Table

A classic view of the famed Round Table

the Algonquin’s web site, “one afternoon, Round Table member Edna Ferber arrived at The Algonquin in a new suit similar to the one Noel Coward was wearing. “You look almost like a man,” Coward said as he greeted her. “So do you,” replied Ferber. The cocktails were just as snappy: The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook includes a recipe for a Classic Algonquin Cocktail, courtesy of The Blue Bar’s Rodney Landers.

The Algonquin appears in Mad Men only by reference, in Season 1, Episode 9, “Shoot.” When Jim Hobart, an executive at McCann Erickson, one of New York’s leading ad agencies, tries to lure Don Draper from Sterling Cooper he suggests a meeting at The Algonquin. If the meeting ever takes place, we don’t see it.

00016L1 231x300 Gather Round the Round TableThe Round Table Restaurant of today was known as the Rose Room in Don Draper’s time. Had they met for lunch they have been given the menu you see pictured here. Don would have had trouble picking from among the delicacies on offer, from Lobster Cocktail ($3.95), Broiled Filet Mignon ($7.25) and Breaded Veal Cutlet Milanaise ($3.95) to Cold Cream Vichyssoise ($.80), Half Broiled Spring Chicken ($3.60) and Filet of Lemon Sole Amandine ($3.50). According to Alex Aubry, Director of Food and Beverage at The Algonquin, the Lemon Sole remains a favorite as do other dishes you could find on 1960s menus from The Algonquin including Chicken Livers Caruso and Scallops Al’anglaise Spaghetti. But there have been changes, too. Today, Don could order a Farmstand salad with baby field greens, roasted beets, goat cheese and candied walnuts in a balsamic glaze ($19.00), BBQ pulled pork sliders ($20.00) or miso glazed ahi tuna ($32.00), though these dishes might be as perplexing to him as an iPhone with built in GPS.

So, if you’d like to win lunch for two at The Algonquin’s Round Table, visit us on Facebook and click “Dine Like a Mad Man.” Good luck!

P.S. If you love Mad Men as we do, visit the Lipp sisters blog Basket of Kisses where you’ll find smart writing about Mad Men and other television favorites.