Warning, centennial ahead. The 100th anniversary of the sinking is coming in April, and commemorations are bound to be berserk. Baltimore has long been one of the unofficial headquarters for Titanic scholarship. "A Night to Remember," still considered the definitive account of the disaster, was written by the Baltimorean Walter Lord.
You can get a jump on the Titanic craze, and dine like an Astor, at Langermann's on New Year's Eve. The Canton restaurant is hosting a New Year's Eve Titanic Dinner, featuring a multi-course meal inspired by the final first-class meal served on the ship.
Chef Neal Langermann said he got the idea for the Titanic dinner on one of his periodic dives into old cookbooks. "I was going through the library in Bowie, near my house, and found a book about the last meals on the Titanic." Published in 1997, "Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner," attempts to re-create the meals, along with recipes, served to the first-, second- and third-class passengers on April 14, 1912. (Written by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley, the book includes a foreword by Walter Lord.)
The book's publication launched a mini-craze for full-bore Titanic dinners, but Langermann's menu is less a replication than a condensation of the one the authors believe was served to first-class passengers on the night of April 14.
For starters, Langermann has pared 10 courses down to a manageable five. "Dinner took four-and-a-half hours," Langermann said. Other changes, he said, were matters of taste and availability. "Some of the food is just not available."
His version of Consomme Olga, for instance, uses scallops instead of "vesiga," the dried spinal marrow of a sturgeon. Existing menu records don't indicate what sauce accompanied the beef course. Langermann has chosen a Forestiere sauce, his interpretation of the classic wild mushroom-pearl onion gravy over tender beef and potatoes.
For the New Year's Eve dessert course, Langermann's is presenting desserts that "are true to the ingredients and presentations that would have been served that evening" -- a Waldorf bread pudding and peaches in Chartreuse jelly. "As our final play on the fateful evening," they are presenting chocolate eclairs in the form of an Odette, the heartbroken swan who chose a watery end.
The New Year's Eve Titanic dinner at Langermann's is $50 and $75 with suggested wine pairings.
Oysters a la Russe (Oysters on the half shell with a Vodka infused Mignonette) Canapes a l’Admiral (Shrimp Toasts on Crostini)
Consomme Olga with Scallop Medallions in a Rich Consommé
Poached salmon Filet with Tarragon Infused Mousseline Sauce, Fresh asparagus ** Mousseline Sauce...Hollandaise with Whipped Cream and Tarragon**
Roast Tenderloin of Beef with Forestiere Sauce, Roast Potatoes **Forestiere sauce..Mushrooms and Onions in a red wine sauce with Herbs**