The Rat Pack’s Favorite Foods (and Drinks!)
Crank up “New York, New York” and put on your fedora. These recipes, based on what the famous Rat Pack loved to eat and drink, will make you feel like it’s 1955 all over again.
When Sammy Davis Jr. first started performing with his dad, they didn’t have much money—and spaghetti was the cheapest, most filling food they could get. Paired with Swedish meatballs, it later became his favorite food.
While his reputation as the group’s heavy drinker has been questioned by many (there are rumors he faked his love of liquor), Dean Martin was rarely seen without a J&B Rare scotch in hand. If you enjoy old-fashioneds, try our Brandy Old-Fashioned.
It’s no surprise that Patsy’s was Frank’s favorite restaurant: They once opened on Thanksgiving just because he requested a reservation! One of his go-to orders was fusilli pasta with garlic and anchovies, similar to this variation that uses linguine and salmon.
Due to their undying support for John F. Kennedy (who was also Peter Lawford’s brother-in-law), the Rat Pack had another name: “The Jack Pack.” Like any good New Englander, President Kennedy couldn’t resist a buttery corn muffin, and we suppose Lawford enjoyed them at Kennedy family gatherings.
Less is more when it comes to burgers, according to Mr. Martin. Straight from the pages of The Celebrity Cookbook, his recipe is as basic as it gets (ground beef only). Ours has a bit more to it but it’s just as easy and just as delicious.
Sammy Davis Jr. had a soft spot for his grandma Rosa B. Davis’ Southern cooking. He told the Evening Independent in 1966, “Her ham hocks and pot of greens are the greatest. She’s one of the world’s great cooks.”
Even when in Las Vegas, the Rat Pack couldn’t turn down a taste of the Big Apple! At Golden Steer Steakhouse (where they had their own dedicated booths), the duo would indulge in a juicy New York strip steak.
Imagine loving something so much you sang about it. That’s how Dean Martin felt about this hearty Italian dish that translates to “pasta and beans.” It’s featured in his hit song “That’s Amore.”
Ol’ Blue Eyes had a little bit of a sweet tooth—and no meal at Patsy’s was complete without some of the chef’s light lemon and ricotta torte. It’s the perfect summer dessert, even 40 years later.
Joey Bishop, the “mouse” of the Rat Pack, grew up Jewish in the Bronx. Which likely meant one of his pastimes was snagging a bagel with a thick shmear of cream cheese from the local deli.
We most commonly associate Frank Sinatra with indulgent Italian comfort food… but when he wasn’t dining out, he was a man of pretty simple tastes. For breakfast, for example, he often had a simple scrambled egg sandwich.
Many nights, Sinatra would request either veal or pork cutlets for his evening meal. The trick to making them “Sinatra-style”? Just pound the meat paper thin before breading or cooking.
Occasionally, Dean would trade his whiskey for a martini. Bartender Pepe Ruiz created a special twist on the traditional for Dean in 1970 with the “Flame of Love” martini, made with orange peel, sherry and vodka.
Recreate Frank’s average night at the Lord Fletcher Inn by cozying up to a crackling fireplace and serving a heaping bowl of this stick-to-your-bones pot roast.