Special Report

Retro Restaurant Dishes We May Never See Again

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16. Veal Marsala

Long an essential on Italian restaurant menus, this dish is made with veal scallops dredged in flour, lightly fried in olive oil, and then sauced with a dense reduction of Marsala, a fortified wine from Sicily.

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17. Swiss steak

Switzerland has nothing to do with this once-common preparation of braised tenderized steak, found more often at diners and coffee shops than in refined environments. It takes its name from the British term “swissing,” a means of stretching and rolling fabric, referring here to the tenderizing of the meat before it’s cooked.

18. Steak Diane

A classic of tableside preparation in Continental restaurants from the 1940s through ’60s, this is made by pan-frying thin slices of steak in butter, setting the meat aside, then adding such ingredients as brandy, sherry, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and chives to the pan juices. The sauce is reduced and the meat added back briefly before serving.

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19. Beef Wellington

Once considered among the most elegant of dinner entrees, beef Wellington (the provenance of the name is uncertain) was introduced in the late 19th or early 20th century and held sway on fancy menus at least through the 1980s. It consists of a whole tenderloin of beef coated with pâté de foie gras and duxelles (finely minced mushrooms, shallots, and herbs), then wrapped in a pastry crust and baked. In its most elevated version, slices of the pastry-enclosed meat were served moistened with truffle sauce.

20. Devilled kidneys on toast

Offal used to be much more common on restaurant menus than it is today, and one popular dish — originally an English breakfast specialty — was this preparation of lamb’s kidneys in a pungent sauce made with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and butter.

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