Steakcraft: Steaks at Delmonico's, America's Oldest Fine Dining Restaurant
Steak Fact SheetCuts: Porterhouse, Delmonico Cut, The "John Krupa" Three Pound Bone In Rib Steak
Grade: All USDA Prime
Aged:Porterhouse/Rib Steak dry-aged 28 days, Delmonico cut wet-aged 40 days.
Pre-Cooked Weight:Porterhouse 46 oz.; Delmonico 18-20 oz., Double Rib 48 oz.
Price: Porterhouse $95; Delmonico $46; Rib Steak $95
Price per Ounce: Porterhouse $2.06; Delmonico $2.30; Double Rib $1.97
Delmonico's is America's oldest fine dining restaurants and the home to some of the country's classic dishes. Lobster Newburg, Baked Alaska, and of course the Delmonico steak all emerged from the kitchen at 56 Beaver Street. Since opening in 1837, Delmonico's has seen a number of firsts. It was the first dining establishment to be called a "restaurant," the first restaurant with a separate wine list, and indeed the first one with a printed menu. It is also the restaurant with the first celebrity chef: Charles Ranhofer became Chef de Cusine in 1862 and went on to craft many of the dishes still found on the menu.
Chef William "Billy" Oliva runs the kitchen these days and continues the fine dining tradition. This classically trained chef is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked on both sides of the Atlantic under such luminaries as Sam Hazen and running his own Michelin Bib Gourmand-accredited restaurant in Ireland before taking over at Delmonico's.
The dining room at Delmonico's has been recently refurbished in an attempt to match the luster of the original restaurant. Entering at the wedge end of the building reveals a deceptively large dining room which opens up like symphony hall.
The story of the Delmonico cut steak is somewhat murky. It is most often a boneless ribeye, and indeed that is what the menu at Delmonico's currently serves. But I have seen steaks from the loin—generally referred to as New York strips—and from the chuck also called a Delmonico. From his research, Chef Oliva believes that the Delmonico cut was simply the best cut available on a given night, so it could be have been one of several steaks.
Chef Oliva took us through the most popular steaks on the menu—the Porterhouse, Double Rib for two, and the Delmonico cut ribeye. See them all in the slideshow.