Celery and Glacé Fantaisie: What Fancy Brooklyn Cyclists Ate in 1899


    Menu via NYPL. Photo via Online Bicycle Museum

    When you envision a post-bike-ride snack, you probably think along the lines of granola bars, smoothies or energy drinks. But for the Brooklynites of yesteryear, cycling was much more than a sport, and eating with fellow bikers could go well beyond replenishing electrolytes.

    The Brooklyn Bicycle Club was one of the first and greatest of the borough’s many famous late-19th-century cycling groups.

    Club members didn’t just ride together. They spent hours hanging out and socializing at their downtown clubhouse at 366 Livingston Street. And they had fancy celebratory dinners, as evidenced by this 1899 menu recently digitized and put online by the New York Public Library.

    The evening’s celebration was to commemorate the club’s 20th anniversary and took place on February 18, 1899 — nearly 117 years ago.

    Brooklyn Bikes

    Menu via NYPL

    The eight-course meal commenced with Huitres eu Coquille (oysters on the half shell) and featured such delectable dishes as Cutelette de Homard Cardinale (chopped lobster) and Riz de Veau Glacé (rice with glazed veal).

    And don’t forget the wildly popular Cigarettes, Egyptian that accompanied the sorbet — at the time, Egyptian cigarettes were incredibly trendy.

    And Brooklynites then, as now, were tapped into the fashions of the day.

    Brooklyn Bikes

    Ocean Avenue bicyclists in the 1890s. Photo via NYC Parks

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