When diners pass through the pillars of Delmonico’s Restaurant—marble columns said to have been excavated from Pompeii—they are walking in the footsteps of some of history's greatest movers and shakers. Since the steakhouse opened in 1837, its clientele has included all but two American presidents as well as Mark Twain and Charles Dickens—both of whom frequented the culinary landmark often enough to have rooms named after them. Today’s Reserve selection invites you and a guest to dine like historic icons with a four-course lunch or dinner for two that includes the following:
- Two appetizers
- Two entrees/main courses
- Two sides
- Two desserts
Delmonico’s hasn't just ridden to fame on the tailored coattails of its famous customers—it's also made a name for itself with culinary innovations. A marbled, boneless rib eye, the Delmonico steak began its rise to gastronomic stardom in the 1830s, when the steakhouse began serving it as the house cut. Delmonico’s also introduced Lobster Newburg—a now-popular preparation of boiled lobster with cognac, sherry, sweet cream, and cayenne pepper—in 1876, after a wealthy sea captain named Ben Wenberg brought the recipe to owner Charles Delmonico. Shortly after the dish became popular, an argument between the two led Delmonico to modify the delicacy’s name to spite its source.
Traditionally a place for playfulness, even the dessert menu is anchored by history. In 1867, Delmonico's original French chef, Charles Ranhofer, created the baked alaska's medley of walnut cake, ice cream, apricot jam, and meringue as a tribute to America’s then-recent purchase of Alaska from the Russians. Guests will have the opportunity to try all three of these signature dishes on a menu now shaped by the current head chef, William Oliva. Oliva has put his own stamp on the historic eatery with an eye toward artful presentation and a few modern menu additions, including the king-crab macaroni and cheese.
Reflecting the menu's opulence, the main dining room seats customers under a restored cream, blue, and gold ceiling buttressed by cherry wainscoting, both features of the original building. The crooning of Frank Sinatra or brassy swing tunes often fill the room, winding back the clock to mid-20th-century New York with the help of other motifs, including oils of famous guests and a wait staff clad in blue shirts and regal red vests. Though alcohol is not included with this menu, Delmonico's two-tiered wine cellar boasts an expansive selection that has received many accolades from Wine Spectator, including an Award of Excellence in 2012. At its peak, the cellar stored 16,000 bottles of wine from around the world, though the collection is slightly smaller today.