The first French "restaurat" was in New York, in 1821?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Feb 3 16:08:19 UTC 2010

(Shades of "Ratatouille"!)

For "restaurant", the OED's earliest citation is 1827.  (Still a "2nd
edition 1989" entry, so the gnomes likely have mined to a lower
stratum by now.  And perhaps to be updated shortly; in December the
"revised range" arrived at "reputeless.")

 From the Evening Post (New York); Date: 07-06-1821; Issue: 5939;
Page: [4], advertisement [EAN]:

JOS. COLLET has the honor to inform his friends and the public in
general that he has opened a Restaurat [sic], in one of the rooms
formerly occupied by General Moreau, 119 Pearl street, (Hanover
Square) where, at any hour of the day, he will be ready to serve them
with coffee, chocolate, soups of every description, veal cutlets,
mutton chops, partridges, pheasants, chickens, beef a-la-mode, hogs
feet, oysters, and every dish that constitute [sic] either a
breakfast, dinner, or supper.  He will constantly keep a supply of
the best Wines and Liquors that can be procured; the whole at moderate prices.
      The patrons of the above establishment may rest assured that
JOS. COLLET will spare nothing to please them.  He hopes, by his
unremitted exertions, to induce those who call once to come again.
      JOS. COLLET will put up, to order, preserved meats, birds of
Game, Tomatoes, &c. &c. in a manner that he will warrant them to keep
for twelve months, even in the warmest climate.  He considers this to
be very important to sea travellers.

[I wonder when he expanded into piqueniques.]

Joseph Collet is confirmed by 6 (Google) books, including "The Oxford
Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America" and "The Oxford companion
to American food and drink" and "The tomato in America: early
history, culture, and cookery," all attributed to Andrew F. Smith
(none with full view).  "The tomato" says "Restaurants were opened
toward the end of the eighteenth century, mostly by French refugees.
... Tomatoes were served in these restaurants at least by the 1820s
and probably much earlier."  A bit later Smith refers, apparently, to
the "footnote" with tomatoes of the above advertisement.  (According
to Smith, Collet sold his hotel and restaurant to the Delmonico
brothers in 1835.)  "On the town in New York: the landmark history of
eating, drinking, and ...", by Michael Batterberry, describes Collet
as "the ice-cream wizard."

For another antedating of 1827, EAN gives us from the Essex Register
[Salem, Mass.]; Date: 08-21-1826; Volume: XXVI; Issue: 67; Page: [1],
a report of the 50th anniversary of American independence, celebrated
at Paris, attended by Lafayette.  "The Company assembled at the
'_Cadran Bleu_,' _Boulevard du Temple_" ... Several rooms of this
handsome _restaurant_ were thrown into one ...".  [Italics in original.]

[This article appears to have been published also in the Richmond
Enquirer of Aug. 22, 1826.]

I'm off, with the former inducement, to an early dinner.


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