At a luncheon for the Septima winery's new vintages at La Fonda del Sol today, food and wine writer Sharon Kapnick reached into her roomy handbag and produced a folded piece of colorful high quality-stock paper. She unfolded it to reveal the surprise: a vintage menu from the original restaurant dated circa 1963. Chef Josh DeChellis came out of the kitchen to check out the relic menu, which featured 25-cent glasses of sherry, churrasqueria section, and several egg dishes for $1.85.
"I was interested to see all the eggs they were doing. The sheared eggs were really popular again a few years ago," said DeChellis. "I actually had the opportunity to work with one of the original chefs, Victor Broceaux. Back then, they had a lot of Latin American dishes, whereas now we're trying to keep the focus on Spanish."
He thanked Kapnick for bringing in the old menu, which she dug up at her parents' home in Mount Vernon after they passed away, within a year of each other. She remembers having her sweet sixteen at the original Fonda, but can't recall what she ate.
"Linda Fairstein, (the former chief prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A. office's Sex Crimes
Unit and author of the crime novel series starring sex crimes prosecutor Alex Cooper), was there, I think," said Kapnick. "We were friends."
A trained sommelier, who has contributed food and wine articles to Time, Food & Wine, Hemispheres and portfolio.com, Kapnick says she kept the menu not out of a longtime love of food, but rather out of an appreciation for paper.
"I love ephemera," she confessed, noting how well the menu has held up over the years. "I guess it's pretty expensive paper."