Menu of the Week: Dinner on the Concorde to Paris, 1986

Fine French dining on top of the world

Wikimedia Commons/ Henrysalome

Concorde flew higher and faster than any passenger jet before or since, and serves some pretty good food, too.

The Concorde was truly a wonder to behold. During its reign as king of the skies from 1976 to 2003, flying on Concorde was the height of luxury. With a cruising speed faster than twice the speed of sound, it could carry 100 passengers from New York to Paris at an altitude of 60,000 feet in three and a half hours, more than four hours faster than any flight before or since.

Those who traveled on Concorde (the proper way to say it was without a "the") paid a lot of money for the privilege, and were treated like royalty. On the afternoon of Dec. 8, 1986, those traveling from New York to Paris were treated to a meal that any fine French restaurant would have been proud to serve, from the looks of it.

The menu begins with a charming little message to the passengers: "Our flight speed will allow you to reach Paris ready to take full advantage of your first night there. As an introduction, we propose a meal which takes the traditions of French gastronomy into consideration. However the cabin service has been adjusted in accordance with the aircraft and its performance. We hope you enjoy the meal which is going to be served to you."

Not sure exactly how service was "adjusted," but either way, it began with a course of canapés, which were most likely a little classier than pretzels and peanuts. After that was caviar, then a salad, followed by the main course, tournedos (similar to mini filets mignons), sautéed with truffles and Madeira wine. Those were served with sliced artichokes and green beans in butter, and for dessert came a chestnut and whisky charlotte, a classic French cake, and fresh fruit.

And to think that they’d land in Paris just in time for dinner!

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