Dining at Delmonico's
The Story of America's Oldest Restaurant
Publication Date: October 2008
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The name Delmonico’s is synonymous with fine dining. Ever since the establishmentthe country’s first real restaurantopened its doors in Manhattan’s Financial District in 1837, Delmonico’s has been showing Americans just what it means to eat well.
Delmonico’s was where American diners were introduced to some of our most beloved dishes: Lobster à la Newburg, Eggs Benedict, Manhattan Clam Chowder, Baked Alaska. Many were created in Delmonico’s kitchen by New York’s first star chef, Charles Ranhofer; others were popularized here. And always heading the bill of fare was the Delmonico’s Steakan unbelievably succulent 20-ounce prime rib-eye, grilled to perfection and topped with herbed butterwhich remains the gold standard that other steakhouses try to emulate.
Delmonico’s history is one of firsts”: the first American restaurant to use tablecloths, to offer private dining rooms, to furnish a separate wine list, to admit women diners, and to re-envision haute cuisine for the American palate. That tradition of exquisite food served in a luxurious setting continues to flourish today. Now, Dining at Delmonico’s invites the home cook into the restaurant’s legendary kitchen, providing more than 80 recipes that let you re-create the gastronomic glories of Delmonico’s dining room for your own table.
Judith Choate is a writer, chef and pioneer in the promotion of American food. She has written over 20 books including Great American Food, The Art of Aureole, Great American Pie Book, New American Kitchen Classics, and Twenty Five Years at DeGustibus at Macy's.