It has been tradition since 1953 that a luncheon be held in Statuary Hall in the Capitol after the inaugural ceremonies have ended. Actually this began in 1897 when the senate committee on arrangements gave a small luncheon for new President McKinley. However it's current form began with Eisenhower in 1953. That first meal consisted of creamed chicken, baked ham and potato puffs.
Today 200 guests will be served Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp in a saffron sauce and peanut crumble, Angus beef from Virginia with Idaho potatoes and a dark chocolate sauce, and a chocolate souffle with cherry vanilla ice cream. And California wines will accompany the food.
Interestingly, lobster in some form seems to be a fixture on these Inaugural luncheons. In 2009 Obama's first luncheon featured lobster and shrimp in the seafood stew, but duck and pheasant with winter vegetables as the main course. An apple cinnamon spongecake was for dessert. Four years later, the lunch included steamed lobster with New England chowder, bison with a wild huckleberry reduction and wild rice, and a dessert of apple pie.
Bush in 2005 was served scalloped crab and lobster with roasted Missouri quail and brined root vegetables and a dessert of lemon pudding. In 2001, he enjoyed a lobster pie, center cut beef tenderloin steaks and toffee pudding with vanilla bean ice cream.
In 1961 Kennedy's menu consisted of Cream of Tomato Soup with Crushed Popcorn, Deviled Crapmeat Imperial, New England Boiled Stuffed Lobster with drawn butter, Prime Texas Ribs of Beef au jus, Sting Beans Almandine, Broiled Tomato, Grapefruit and Avocado sections with Poppyseed Dressing, Hot Garlic Bread, Butterflake Rolls, Pattiserie Pateau Blanche, Mints and Coffee. I'd guess wine was also served but it isn't mentioned on the official menu.
Whew! They really liked to have a full meal back in 1961. How they stayed awake for the afternoon parade is beyond me.