Emperor of Austria-Hungary
Menu dated 11th March 1869
Dinner at the Hofburg Palace, Vienna, hosted by Their Imperial and Apostolic Majesties Emperor Franz-Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary
This dinner menu is for a ball at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna which served as the Imperial couple’s winter residence. The eleven course dinner offers a dish of spit-roasted roebuck (a red deer) kidney and no fewer than four desserts to satisfy the Emperor’s sweet tooth.
When it came to preparing the table for a state dinner, Baron von Margutti, recalled how the palace menu-cards at each place setting:
‘...were the finest product of the Viennese paper industry. Each had the imperial arms embossed in gold at the top. In accordance with an old custom at the Hapsburg court, the menus were always in French. As a rule the wines were not included. The only exception was in the case of special court dinners and state banquets.’
The Emperor used to enjoy finishing his meals with a glass of Tokay from his own vineyards in Hungary. It was a strong sweet syrupy wine with a powerful perfume bouquet and was served in special glasses similar in size to a thimble.
Servants at these court dinners wore a campaign uniform which consisted of a brown gold braided coat and black trousers offset with a dress sword. The footmen wore tail-coats edged with silver braid, black knee-breeches and gaiters.
The Emperor however was personally served by his military loaders who wore a green uniform with green trousers all with silver braid and a silver bandolier (an ammunition belt) without the hunting-knife.
Potage à la Royale
Chicken consommé garnished with savory egg-custard pieces
Mayonnaise de volaille à la ravigotte
Poached chicken breast in a mayonnaise made from capers, mustard, herbs, white wine, veal stock, shallots and mustard
Rissoles à la modérne
Fried puff pastries filled with puréed foie gras and served with braised lettuce
Piêce de boeuf à la flamande
A Flemish dish using a round of beef casseroled in beer, onions and herbs
Poulardes à la Céléstine
Young chickens fried with mushrooms and tomatoes and then flamed with Cognac and served with powdered garlic and chopped parsley named after the owner of Cercle restaurant in Lyon
Petits pois à l'anglaise
Baby peas tossed with butter and parsley
Rein de chevreuil à la broche
Spit-roasted roebuck kidney
Beignets de chocolat glacés
Choux pastries filled with chocolate ice-cream
Gelée aux ananas
Mixed poached fruits
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria-Hungary