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Restaurant RepublicThe Rise of Public Dining in Boston$
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Kelly Erby

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780816691302

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816691302.001.0001

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Filet de Boeuf at the Tremont House

Filet de Boeuf at the Tremont House

Luxury Hotel Dining Rooms

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Filet de Boeuf at the Tremont House
Source:
Restaurant Republic
Author(s):

Kelly Erby

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816691302.003.0001

The first chapter deals with Boston's wealthy elite. They were the first to demand new kinds of public dining options. Though Americans had been scornful of European cultural models as enervating and corrupting, wealthy Bostonians increasingly looked to French modes for inspiration when it came to sophisticated dining. In the 1820s, Boston's upper class, in their role as “patrons of culture” organized the construction of the Tremont House in Boston. The main attraction of this Boston institution was its dining room and the opulent, heavily French-influenced cuisine it produced. In this chapter, the author examines the venue of the Tremont House and other luxurious public dining rooms that soon arose to compete against it for the patronage of the elites. In such venues, the Boston elite demonstrated itself to be a republican aristocracy and strove to enact social and cultural codes that, it hoped, would stabilize society. But these very codes also underscored, and in some ways facilitated, fluidity and mobility and thus undermined social and cultural hierarchies.

Keywords:   Food, Culinary History, Boston, Nineteenth Century, Restaurants, Tremont House, Luxury hotel dining rooms, Elite class, Gender

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