56 Beaver Street
New York, NY 10004
Delmonico’s has this fabulous, long history to it… that I can’t remember. It’s probably on the website, but offhand, there is a cut of steak named after it (which I believe is the rib eye), and I believe that this famous institution has part in the whole renaming of lobster newberg story as well. (I was right; I looked it up, along with the rest of my references. Very interesting stuff, actually!)
Unfortunately, Delmonico’s is super way far downtown. Fortunately, my boyfriend and I were in the area, and after receiving some excellent news, I decided we should swing by and perhaps celebrate our news at this fine establishment. Also fortunately, due to its location so far south, we did not need reservations on a Monday night.
Upon entering the hushed foyer, the hostess looked us up and down, quite unkindly I might add – noting my flip flops, casual dress, and my boyfriend’s shirt and tie – she appeared to calculate the pros and cons of admitting us. I walked up, politely asked for a table for two, to which she responded, “Do you have reservations?” If I were in a poorer mood, I would have responded, “If I had reservations, I would have said so, DUMBASS!” but since the good news had put me in an unstoppable mood, I just smiled and shook my head. She decided to seat us.
The restaurant was practically empty, but the patrons that were seated within consisted of all businesspeople who were either having a dinner meeting or just relaxing after work over an indulgent meal. As most steakhouses, the decor was all dark wood, gold fixtures, and deep leather booth seating.
The bread basket contained a few different types of bread; I chose the chewy, airy slightly sourdough-y Italian slice which was delicious. The accompanying butter was soft, which I prefer over the cold blocks that many restaurants serve. We were off to a good start…
Since my sweety loves crabcakes, we opted to share a crabcake appetizer ($18). The greens on top- shaved fennel, radish, I pushed to one side since he’s not a fan of veggies and I hate fennel and radish (I tried some of it, it wasn’t bad but it was still fennel/radish). The crabcake was a bit off- one side tasted pretty fishy, while the other side and the center were fine. But the overall crabmeat ratio wasn’t that great- it wasn’t giant lumps of crab (my preference) but rather small chunks very intermittently scattered throughout crabmeat mush. Plus, it wasn’t fried (I don’t believe) nor crispy enough for my boyfriend’s taste, so we wrote this one off as “OKAY, though the fishiness is a real turn off.”
Next, we both ordered what I believed to be the signature dish, the rib eye ($34). In general, this is both of our preferred cuts- fatty, well marbled, flavorful, and amazingly tender (when done right, of course). (I just looked at the menu… it was CALLED the Classic Delmonico’s steak!) I normally do not appreciate anything on top of my steak- cheese, onions, mushrooms, that all belongs on the side for me to place on a bite of steak as I please!- but these fried onions were AMAZING. I don’t even like onions on a regular basis but these were just perfect. Crispy, and … well, onion-tasting! I believe they were deep-fried – they must have been. Think of those onion rings that came in a green cellophane bag when we were kids, but 1000x better. So good.
The steak itself was tender and cooked perfectly to my specification of medium rare (I keep forgetting that at really good steakhouses, I like it medium, and at regular places, medium rare…). Flavorful, and yet not too fatty like some cheaper rib eyes tend to be, it was really good, though I wouldn’t say the best rib eye I’ve ever had. The house steak sauce, standard issue, supplied on each table was unnecessary and I did not touch it. My boyfriend thoroughly enjoyed his steak, though he agreed it was not the best steak he’d ever had.
The sides we opted for were creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes were really good, while the creamed spinach was yummy at first but progressively tasted saltier. I also have a small problem with places that used chopped spinach as opposed to fresh torn spinach for creamed spinach; I vastly prefer clumps of spinach to spoonfuls of watery/soupy spinach. Personal preference, however. We polished off the mashed and left only a little of the creamed spinach.
Despite how full we were, my boyfriend wanted a slice of the chocolate cake when the dessert cart rolled on by, so we ordered it “with fresh whipped cream, please!” Ever since our experience at Quality Meats, he has developed a fine appreciation for fresh whipped cream.
The whipped cream here was good, though not as light and fluffy as at QM. It felt denser and perhaps like it’d been sitting in its bowl for just a touch too long- not that it’d gone bad, but rather, that the air forced through it had all left and went on its merry way. The chocolate cake itself was moist, dense, and pretty good. We wound up leaving half of that on the plate since we were just too stuffed to chance another bite without bursting.
Yvo says: Not a bad place at all- this was my 2nd time (I went back in 2002? but those were the pre-foodie years; I liked food but hadn’t yet developed a finer sense of taste, which I’m still trying to hone), and I would go back. The prices are nothing to sneeze at, though comparable to other high end steakhouses; add that to the historical bonus of going here, and I think the prices are actually decent (the prices are not inflated on TOP of the high end steakhouse inflation). Restaurant Week is coming up, and Delmonico’s usually participates, so you may want to try Delmonico’s at the lower cost (and occasionally lower quality) of Restaurant Week instead. I would recommend this place if you are in the area; strongly recommend if you are on a company account. Enjoy~!