An Old Fashioned Kind of Guy: Mad Men Season 5 Finale

Mad Men Season 5 ended, as Season 1 began, with Don Draper ordering an Old g bites don draper old fashioned kq 120323.photoblog500 300x225 An Old Fashioned Kind of Guy: Mad Men Season 5 FinaleFashioned. The season finale (“The Phantom”) featured only this one cocktail, but it’s Don’s signature drink. We surmise this signals a return to the Don we came to know and, well, love, in a way. It was a different Don this season, happily married, or so it seemed, faithful, except in his dreams, and somehow lighter and brighter than the heavily burdened Don of seasons past. But Don is seeming a bit more old fashioned himself as the series moves into 1967; the world is changing around him, but Don? He’s going backwards.

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The Lipp Sisters with Rich Sommer at Smithfields

One of us (Peter) was in Manhattan last night, and attended the viewing party at Smithfield’s on West 28th Street hosted by Mad Men bloggers extraordinaire (Basket of Kisses), the Lipp Sisters. The special guest was the very genuine and gracious Rich Sommer, known to Mad Men fans as Harry Crane. He stayed to watch the finale which, we suspect, he was watching for the first time along with the rest of us.

Our Season 5 culinary recap (below) includes many highlights —  from orange sherbet at Howard Johnson’s to Megan’s Beef Bourguignon and visits to restaurants, some now gone, some still going, such as Ratner’s Deli, Danny’s Hideaway, Trader Vic’s and The Minetta Tavern.

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Peter and Rich Sommer at the Season 5 Finale Party in New York (photo: Therese Bohn)

It already seems like a long wait for Season 6, so we recommend getting your fix by mixing cocktails and making recipes from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, as well as few from this season. Start with Don’s Old Fashioned and, as always, be sure to muddle the cherry.

We’ll be posting occasionally between now and Season 6, but our regular every Monday

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Ratner’s Vegetable Cutlets with Gravy (photo: Nina Gallant)

schedule will resume when Mad Men returns in 2013. Also check our Facebook page and Twitter for news!

 

 

 

 

 

Culinary Highlights from Season 5

Where did Don, Roger and the rest of the Sterling Cooper crew dine out or order in from? Season 5 featured Trader Vic’s, Howard Johnson’s, The Hemisphere Club, the Minetta Tavern, Ratner’s, a kosher dairy deli, La Caravelle, The Palm and Danny’s Hideaway among others. Meanwhile, Betty was at Weight Watchers and polishing off Sally’s ice cream sundaes.

And there were a few great parties too: Megan’s 40th birthday bash for Don, Trudy and Pete’s Cos Cob dinner party (the one Don tries to duck without success, but shows up with his memorable drink order “big and brown”) and a traditional Thanksgiving at the Francis manse. A number of recognizable food products from 1966-67 had cameo roles in Season 5, including Cool Whip, Heinz Baked Beans, Bugles, Sno-Balls and White Castle Hamburgers.

An * indicates the recipe is in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook

Cocktails

Gin Fizz
Shirley Temple
*Old Fashioned

Appetizers, Sandwiches and Side Dishes

Crab Rangoon
Brussel Sprouts
Tuna Fish Sandwich
Heinz Baked Beans
*Deviled Eggs
Bugles Corn Chips
Cheese Cubes

Main Dishes

Boeuf Bourguignon
Dover Sole Meuniere
Ratner’s Vegetable Cutlets with Gravy
Baked Ham
*Beef Wellington
Lobster
Spaghetti
Baked Chicken
White Castle Hamburgers
Howard Johnson’s Fried Clams

Desserts
Marshmallow Fudge ice cream sundae topping
Minetta Tavern’s Zabaglione
Baked Alaska
Hemisphere Club Mile High Cakes
William Greenberg Brownies
Orange Sherbet
Cool Whip Dessert
Choward’s Violets

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.