The Retro Table

When our DD, Tiff wanted to come over for dinner on Sunday after working a stressful 10 day straight stint, I decided to ask her what she was craving.  While I knew it would be comfort food vs. uber gourmet, I was surprised that she chose Meatball Stroganoff.  It was certainly one of her childhood favorites.  I set about to please her request, after all I know from experience you don’t mess with a pregnant mother’s meal cravings!  And good Fathers spoil their daughters anyway!

Of course I had to create a whole retro menu and tablescape to go along with the theme.  I started with our oldest set of dishes that we purchased in 1972 at Gimbels after moving into Manhattan’s upper east side.  As a side note we lived in a converted brownstone one bedroom 4th floor walk-up apartment.  Our dining room decor was a round Formica covered table with black Naugahyde swivel scoop chairs.  We covered it with a black Vera tablecloth and black napkins.  We had a white metal hutch style cabinet and a stainless steel “arm” lamp that protruded from the wall over the table.  We had a set of Mikasa china that was white with an etched looking black flower pattern that we used for everyday. 

The dishes in the pictures are SANGO Quadrille line and the pattern is Black Satin and looked stunning on our black tablecloth.  And always admired by Tiff and I’m sure she has “dibs” on them along with Grandma Rice’s hutch that they reside in!

Here’s a place setting:


Black Satin China Place Setting

The matte finish stainless steel flatware was added in the 80’s and purchased on the fly from Continental Bazaar in Forest Hills just before a dinner party!

Another view:

Face on View Black Satin Sango Quadrille China

Face on View Black Satin Sango Quadrille China

The Retro Table:

Waiting for cheese, crackers, olives!

Waiting for cheese, crackers, olives!

The plates and olive triangle were gifts from DD over the years; the napkins broke the black and white theme but a welcome shock of pattern highlighting the bit of green on the plates!

Showing off the antique table cloth.

Showing off the antique table cloth.




The pebble glassware was purchased in the 90’s when DD Tiff worked for Crate and Barrel, and are Nana’s favorite.

The center table cloth was purchased in an antique shop in Greenport, Long Island and the under cloth is a sheet we found that matches peachy orange color in the flowers quite nicely. It was more than likely discovered on a bargain table somewhere!  The black “placemats” are napkins to set off the dinnerware and protect the antique cloth a bit!


Serving Piece placement.

Serving Piece placement.


The glass serving bowls are 80’s purchases, Mikasa Novo Glass line, we have a third coordinating  piece: an oval plate. These classic pieces seem to work easily with a variety of looks and often dress a buffet table as well.

The Retro Menu

Cheese and Crackers–English Cheddar and an Italian Sheeps Milk w/Truffles; Picholine Olives and Marcona Almonds.

Meatball Stroganoff over Egg Noodles

Green Beans with Caramelized Red Onions & Cherry Tomatoes

Tossed Salad, greens, carrots, celery, cucumber, roasted golden beets, red & orange bell pepper with Roasted Garlic Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

Malted Milk Ball  or Belgian Chocolate Gelato and assorted cookies

A very comforting meal and the expectant Mother was very happy!  We lingered at the table yakking up a storm, lots of catching up and some reminiscing!  It was a great relaxin evening!

Eat Well…Be Well!


This entry was posted in Chef Jim Menu, Tablescapes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Retro Table

  1. Jim when are you going to write your book? These postings are so much fun and happy to see you share all your creativity both in table settings and cuisine! You Rock. Hey would love the recipe for the Meatball Stroganoff my mouth is WATERING….the ultimate comfort food!
    Chef Piper


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