This very early menu dated 1892 is from the Café Napolitain, one of the grand cafes which stood at number 1 Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. Its military theme was a celebration of the Franco-Russian Alliance, which had been drafted two months earlier, and which lasted until the outbreak of the First World War.
Many famous artists and writers congregated in the Café Napolitain over the years. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, James McNeill Whistler, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Joan Miró and Ezra Pound were some of its celebrated customers.
Ernest Hemingway also frequented this venerable restaurant from 1921 to 1928 and the author references it in his second novel about the “lost generation” called The Sun Also Rises.
Pavement cafes like the Napolitain stayed open almost 24 hours, serving food from early morning till the last drunken revelers went home in the early hours. The wine list is short and favoured fine champagnes.
The word glacier in the name of the restaurant referred to the Italian ice-creams that the Neapolitan owner ordered to be prepared for his customers.
Courtesy The Culinary Institute of America
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