During my tenure at the Columns Hotel I collected many of the weekly dinner specials menus and ultimately made my way to the hot line and learned to prepare most of the dinner items. I have listed the items as they appeared on the original menus with the original prices. I have also added a short paragraph on how the menu item was prepared for a quick review.
Smoked Seafood Salad – Assortment of seafood smoked and marinated with avocadoes and vinaigrette dressing. $4.50
This was made with smoked oysters, smoked shrimp, and smoked scallops with some diced avocado and tossed with the house vinaigrette dressing and served on a bed of bib lettuce.
Escargot ET Arthichaux – Sautéed escargot in an herb butter served with fresh artichoke leaves. $5.25
This was made with the Café Butter and the snails were sautéed in it until heated through. Then these are draped over a whole steamed artichoke and served in a soup bowl.
Frog Legs Bordelaise – Fried frog legs, mushroom, green onions and garlic butter. $4.50
This was lightly seasoned and floured frog legs deep fried and then served over a bed of angel hair pasta with mushrooms and green onions which were sautéed in Café butter.
Sautéed Rabbit with Tarragon Mustard Sauce – Boneless rabbit, tarragon, Dijon mustard, bordelaise and sour cream. $11.50
The farm raised rabbit was de-boned and marinated in a white wine and olive oil mixture with lots of fresh chopped herbs such as thyme, rosemary and basil with black peppercorns and salt and pepper. The rabbit was best when marinated for at least 2-3 days. Then lightly seasoned and floured then sautéed in clarified butter. The sauce was made with the house brown sauce flavored with tarragon, Dijon mustard and a small portion of sour cream to lighten the color up a bit.
Stuffed Veal Chop Madeira – Stuffed with prosciutto ham, gruyere cheese, herbs and served with a red wine sauce. $14.95
The 8 oz bone in veal chop was cut with a small pocket opposite the bone side and then a mixture of small diced prosciutto and shredded gruyere cheese was mixed with some fresh chopped thyme and rosemary and stuff into the chop. Upon order the chop was browned on both sides and finished in the oven. The sauce was a Madeira wine reduction with shallots and demi glace or Glace de Viande added then toped over the chop upon service.
Breast of Chicken Payone – Julienne ham, squash, bell peppers, cream and demi-glace sauce. $10.95
Boneless chicken breast lightly seasoned and floured then sautéed in clarified butter, flipped and then finished in the oven. The sauce was a sauté of julienne ham, sliced yellow squash, julienne red and green bell peppers and a bit of glace added for flavor. Then finished with heavy cream and reduced to sauce consistency. Plated the chicken breast and served with sauce over the top.
Sautéed Rainbow Trout Grenobloise – Served with capers in a light lemon butter sauce. $12.50
Fresh rainbow trout was shipped in twice a week and was the whole dressed fish with head, skin and tail attached. We would remove the interior bones and this created a nice whole piece of fish that fit nicely on a large dinner plate. Seasoned with salt and white pepper then dredged in seasoned flour and sautéed until golden brown and finished in the 450° F oven until done. The sauce was our Beurre Blanc with the addition of a ½ Tbsp of capers. This menu item was a very simple yet elegant preparation and presentation.
Sweetbreads Bourguignon – Bacon, onions, mushrooms, red wine and Bordelaise sauce. $12.50
The sweetbreads were poached and pressed in advance and held under refrigeration until service. Each order was about 6 ounces of sweetbreads which were lightly seasoned and floured then sautéed in clarified butter until golden on all sides. Per order the diced bacon was fried up and then onions and mushroom added and cooked then flamed with the red wine and our basic brown sauce was added and heated through. On this one the plate was sauced then sautéed sweetbreads placed over the sauce and garnished with a few pieces of the sautéed bacon.