Retro Dinner Party Foods We Wish Would Make A Comeback

Retro Dinner Party Foods We Wish Would Make a Comeback

A dinner party that starts with a strong martini accompanied by cheese straws and salmon mousse, followed by a classic Julia Child-style boeuf bourguignon, and ends with a stunning baked Alaska sounds like a perfect meal. Why is it that this menu hasn't been seen on anybody's dining table since the 1970s?

Ants on a Log

This salty, sweet, and spicy, celery-based appetizer should never have ceased to be a household staple. Serve these classic Ants on a Log alongside those potent cocktails at your next dinner party to welcome this childhood favorite back to our kitchens.

For the Ants on a Log recipe, click here.

Baked Alaska

Why did a dessert that consists of ice cream, cake, and caramelized meringue ever stop being fashionable? Get this showstopper of a dish back on your dinner table: It's worth the effort it takes to make it as the result is so spectacular.

For the Baked Chocolate Alaska recipe, click here.

Black Forest Gâteau

This '70s layer cake deserves its spot in the limelight. We can't really understand how layers of chocolate sponge cake soaked in alcohol, and piled up with whipped cream, cherries, and chocolate shavings could ever not be everybody's favorite dessert.

For the Black Forest Gâteau recipe, click here.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Julia Child described her favorite boeuf bourguignon as "certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man." This comforting French beef dish needs to be on your dinner party menu, just to make Julia Child proud.

For the Boeuf Bourguignon recipe, click here.

Cheese Straws

There's a reason why cheese straws were quite so popular in the '70s. Crunchy, salty, and a tiny bit greasy, they make the perfect accompaniment to your every pre-dinner drink.

For the Crunchy Cheddar and Rosemary Cheese Straws recipe, click here.

Chicken Kiev

This garlic-butter-stuffed, golden breadcrumb-coated chicken dish is one of our all-time favorite dinners. It's truly upsetting that after its incredible '60s popularity, this dish has all but disappeared from every kitchen: It's time it made a well-deserved comeback.

For the Chicken Kiev recipe, click here.

Cobb Salad

The colorful Cobb salad, which was originally invented in Hollywood, is one of the few vegetable-focused retro dishes. Add some Hollywood glamour to your next dinner party with this iconic salad, served as a side or an appetizer.

For the Ultimate Cobb Salad recipe, click here.

Crêpes Suzette

For the culinary ambitious among you, there can be no more impressive way to end your dinner party than with some flambéed Crêpes Suzette. This popular Parisian dessert was such a hit in America in the '70s, and it's definitely time these crêpes had another turn at being fashionable again.

For the Crêpes Suzette recipe, click here.

Devilled Eggs

Devilled eggs were the go-to appetizer for many dinner party hosts, and were always a favorite among guests. We want to revive this not-so-fashionable recipe, and by adding some modern twists, get it back in vogue again.

For the Classic Devilled Eggs recipe, click here

French Onion Dip

We don't want the authentic retro French Onion dip to make a comeback, but a more refined version. Let's skip making this recipe with packaged onion soup mix, and instead use fresh ingredients to enjoy a new and improved version of this old-school appetizer.

For the French Onion Dip recipe, click here.

Green Bean Casserole

This green bean casserole recipe was originally written by Campbell's to promote its cream of mushroom soup. This side dish contains so many shortcuts, but is no less delicious for it: It's the perfect recipe for the nervous host, even when it isn't Thanksgiving.

For the Green Bean Casserole recipe, click here.

Manhattan Cocktail

If there's just one thing that we learned from Mad Men, it's that no retro party should be short on cocktails. The classic Manhattan cocktail is an often-overlooked drink, which is simple to make, and sufficiently fortifying to get the evening off to a boisterous start.

For the Manhattan Cocktail recipe, click here.


Making a perfect martini is a fine art, which should never be underestimated. But a beautifully strong, chilled martini served at the beginning of your party will be sure to please every cocktail connoisseur.

For the Martini recipe, click here.

Oeufs à la Neige

This old-school dinner party classic of delicate meringues floating on top of a rich crème anglaise, and drizzled with warm caramel, is the kind of dessert every sweet-toothed guest dreams about.

For the Oeufs à la Neige recipe, click here.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This vintage dessert, which consists of a yellow sponge, simply topped with slices of pineapple, and maybe a maraschino cherry or two, was the height of dinner party dessert chic in the first half of the twentieth century. To be true to the retro original, make sure you only use tinned pineapple slices.

For the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe, click here.

Pink Champagne Jello

We're happy to forget about the majority of the jello recipes that were the centerpiece of so many '60s and '70s dinner tables. However, jello made with Champagne is not something we're quite so readily willing to say goodbye to.

For the Pink Champagne Jello recipe, click here.

Salmon Mousse

If we can replace the original canned salmon for smoked salmon in the classic salmon mousse, then we are definitely ready to see a revival of this appetizer. Form the mousse into a fish shape if you want some serious retro effort points from your guests.

For the Smoked Salmon Mousse recipe, click here.

Shrimp Cocktail

There's a reason a classic shrimp cocktail was the go-to chic appetizer for such a long time, and there's no good reason we can think of that explains why it is no longer widely available. Shrimp cocktail is a simple, elegant appetizer we should all be enjoying as the best light way to start dinner.

For the Shrimp Cocktail recipe, click here.

Swedish Meatballs

Meatballs served with cocktail sticks and a sweet jelly to dip them in were all the rage at '60s parties. Then they became too popular for their own good and lost their fashionable status. Mini meatballs have been away for long enough: Let's welcome them back.

For the Swedish Meatballs recipe, click here.

Wedge Salad

This salad probably went out of fashion when people realized quite how many calories were hidden in that blue cheese dressing, but we think it's worth every bite. Knowing that it's an indulgent treat, rather than a healthy side, let's put this salty salad on our dinner tables again.

For the Wedge Salad recipe, click here.