For all the “Mad Men” fans out there – we who’ve waited 17 long months to see whether Don’s really getting remarried (and whether Joan’s baby will have silver hair) – here are some ideas for a themed steakhouse-style dinner at home, featuring recipes inspired by (and products seen on) the show:
This appetizer is a throwback to the first season, when Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) takes the chip-n-dip he and Trudy (Alison Brie) received as a wedding gift and exchanges it for a rifle.
Only Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) would order a “Caesar salad, no dressing” – which is basically a plate of lettuce. In season one, Don and Betty Draper (Don Draper and January Jones) and Roger and Mona Sterling (John Slattery and Talia Balsam) order the Caesar prepared tableside at Toots Shor’s.
Alternate: Bacon and Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
Here’s a throwback to Betty’s “Trip Around the World” dinner party menu in season 2. I don’t think we’ve actually seen Betty eat anything since then. Vodka Gimlet, anyone?
The men of “Mad Men” eat a lot of steak. A whole lot. There’s a beef-eating scene in almost every episode at New York steakhouses like Downey’s, Keens and the Pen and Pencil. However, last season’s most memorable steak dinner is the one Don shares with a very wasted Lane Pryce (Jared Harris),who jumps up from the table, holds his T-bone to his groin and shouts, “I’ve got a big Texas belt-buckle. YEEHAW!”
Actually, you could substitute any of the guys’ names before “Loaded” in that title. With every steak they eat comes a baked potato. Something to soak up all that liquor.
Here’s a twist on the classic steakhouse side dish, which appears often on “Mad Men.” This version can be made ahead and baked with a top layer of hot, bubbly cheese.
In season 4, Dr. Faye Miller (Cara Buono) demonstrates her consumer research skills at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce by asking senior staffers to complete a questionnaire, offering chocolate chip cookies as a “thank you.” When Harry asks her what it means if someone doesn’t take a cookie, she deadpans, “You’re a psychopath.”
No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake
When Roger loses the Lucky Strike account and things hit the fan during season 4, he and Joan (Christina Hendricks) sneak off to one of their old haunts, a Jewish deli called The Tip Toe Inn. Roger says he used to take her there, because there was “no chance of running into anyone and, of course, the cherry cheesecake.”
In the season 4 finale, “Tomorrowland,” Don, his kids and his secretary/love interest, Megan Calvet (Jessica Paré), are having lunch at a diner, when Sally and Bobby start fighting and spill a strawberry milkshake. Everyone expects Megan to have a Betty-like meltdown, but she takes it in stride and calmly wipes up the mess, pretty much sealing the deal with Don. Well played, Megan. Well played.
When Joan’s husband, Dr. Greg Harris (Sam Page) has to work through New Year’s Eve, she surprises him with a Hawaiian-inspired brunch, including Blue Hawaiians. Poor Joanie.
We didn’t see any of the younger creatives actually mixing this drink at SCDP last season, but their work room was stocked with a bottle of Jameson and plenty of soft drinks. It would have happened. As they brainstormed ideas for the Mountain Dew campaign, Peggy Olsen (Elizabeth Moss) had to remind them, “You need three ingredients for a cocktail. Vodka and Mountain Dew is an emergency.”
When Lane’s father visits, Lane takes his him (and Don) to The Playboy Club. We get some insight into their father-son relationship when Lane orders three whiskey sours, and his father says, “She’s asking what you want, not how many you’ve had.”
Nonalcoholic options (seen on “Mad Men”): Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange and Mountain Dew
More “Mad Men” Posts:
“Mad Men” premieres at 8 p.m. CST, Sunday, March 25, on AMC.