Until restaurants became commonplace in the late 1800s, printed menus for meals were rare commodities reserved for special occasions. As restaurants proliferated, the menu became more than just a culinary listing. The design of the menu became an integral part of eating out and as such menus became a marketing tool and a favored keepsake.Menu Design is an omnibus showcasing the best examples of this graphic art. With nearly 800 examples, illustrated in vibrant color, this deluxe volume not only showcases this extraordinary collection of paper ephemera but serves as a history of restaurants and dining out in America.
In addition to the menu covers, many menu interiors are featured providing an epicurean tour and insight into more than a hundred years of dining out. An introduction on the history of menu design by graphic design writer Steven Heller and extended captions by culinary historian John Mariani accompany the menus throughout the book. Various photographs of restaurants round out this compendium that will appeal to anyone who enjoys graphic and gastronomic history.