Don Draper, the 1960s advertising executive from the TV show “Mad Men,” will soon feel right at home in Vena’s Fizz House. The craft cocktail bar and mixology shop in the Old Port plans to start serving updated versions of beef Wellington, Waldorf salad, butterscotch pudding and other classic dishes from the 1950s and 1960s to go along with its drink menu of Manhattans and gin and tonics.

Vena’s will preview its new “vintage menu” at a cocktail party Friday where guests can sample miniature versions of each dish and drink from a cash bar. The party will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the shop, which is at 345 Fore St. Vintage Eatery will start serving the small plates menu Dec. 4.

Head chef Kori Reece, who created the new menu with head bartender Nichole Bailey, said she relished the assignment to bring classic 60-year-old dishes into the 21st century.

“You walk into Vena’s, everything is very vintage – ’50s and ’60s, all the way down to the aprons that we wear,” she said. “However, our food did not resemble that whatsoever.”

Reece said she pored over vintage cookbooks for ideas. She described the end result like this: “If you took really weird, funky gelatin molds and all the food that you kind of cringe at at Christmas, but made it absolutely delicious so you want to be eating it every day.”

Her “Waldorf salad” is a blend of an old-fashioned gelatin mold and a classic Waldorf made with fresh apples, celery and walnuts. Reece’s version of the salad is encased in gelatin that’s made with a lemon shrub and herb blend that makes the gelatin tastes like salad dressing. The dish is garnished with a bit of frisee and aioli dressing instead of the mayonnaise traditionally used in a Waldorf salad.


Other dishes include beef Wellington – local ground beef, homemade mushroom puree and sauteed spinach wrapped in puff pastry and served with fig-infused gravy – and blue cheese and pickled beet deviled eggs.

“They’re about as purple as you can possibly get them,” Reece said about the eggs. “They’re beautiful.”

Some experiments didn’t work. For instance, Reece tried putting the smoked cherries left over from making Vena’s smoked cherry simple syrup into Spam.

“Every time, it was not appealing,” she said. “It was more like something you’d feed your animal than feed yourself.”

She’ll still use some Spam here and there – a little crispy Spam garnish, for example, will top the deviled eggs.

Don Draper would approve.

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