We owe so much to Delmonico’s in New York City

By Michelle Plummer

Did you know that yesterday was Baked Alaska Day?

Are you seeing a theme in my writing?  First it was holiday excursions, then cake, and now ice cream and cake or what may be better known for such a lovely month of love is Baked Alaska!  A beautiful bomb (oval 3-D cake pan, that really looks more like a half egg) of cake crowed with rich creamy ice cream and completely covered with meringue and lightly browned with a torch or in the oven.  The cracking of the crust gives way to a rich creamy cold ice cream and velvety crumb cake!  Delicious, but really are you going to make that today?  May I offer you a bit of history and a simpler alternative and you can still pay respects to the culinary genius who gave us such a creation!

Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City: Reservations (212) 509-1144, is located at 56 Beaver St, New York, NY, 10004. Birthplace of the Delmonico’s Steak #www.delmonicosny.com/

Delmonico’s, opened in 1837 as America’s first fine dining restaurant, continues to serve the connoisseur of fine American food in its premier location at 56 Beaver Street, the heart of Manhattan’s financial district. Birthplace of the Delmonico Steak, Delmonico Potatoes, Eggs Benedict, Lobster Newburg, and Baked Alaska, the original Delmonico’s offered unheard of luxury – the availability of private dining rooms, an extensive wine cellar, innovative cuisine, and, above all, warm, personal service.

The history of Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York includes many firsts in the history of cuisine. This describes some of these “firsts”.  Before Delmonico’s opened, diners ate at cafes and boarding houses (inns), where the food was simply the food available that day from the farms. Diners had no choice of dishes but ate the food that was served. Delmonico’s changed all that, including the following firsts:

  • The first diner called by the French name restaurant
  • The first diner where guests sat at their own tables
  • The first printed menu
  • The first tablecloths
  • Oysters Rockefeller
  • Lobster Newberg, first called Lobster Wenberg
  • Baked Alaska
  • Eggs Benedict (according to FoodTV and Infoplease)
  • Delmonico potatoes
  • Delmonico steak

My point being is that if you only wish to dream of Alaska or enjoy the fact that Indiana ranks second in ice cream production so we can indulge in many flavors (vanilla being number one), we owe quite a bit to the lavishly elegant Del Monico Restaurant.  I have also included a delicious Delmonico Potato recipe that will surely become a family favorite!    What is not to enjoy about cheese, cream and potatoes in a easily prepared dish!

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