One of the most famous cuts of meat your butcher can recommend to you is the storied Delmonico steak. It was introduced in New York City early in the nineteenth century by the Delmonico brothers, John and Peter, who arrived in America from Switzerland.
In 1827, the Delmonico brothers opened a small pastry business where they thrived and were soon joined by their nephew Lorenzo who went on to establish Delmonico’s signature dishes. In 1837, they opened their first restaurant. It was far grander than any that had preceded it. It had giant columns outside that the Delmonico’s said were actually taken from the ruins of the legendary city of Pompeii.
Their butcher and their chef began to lead the way as the restaurant became quite famous quite quickly. It was actually the first restaurant in America that offered a choice menu so diners could actually order and eat something other that the house specialty of the day. Up to that time, restaurants only cooked a certain meal on a certain day. In addition, the Delmonicos are credited with inventing such soon to become fine cuisine staples as Delmonico potatoes, Baked Alaska, eggs benedict, chicken a la king and, of course, their legendary butchers cut Delmonico steak.
Controversy surrounded the steak and there has always been a heated discussion as to what type of cut it actually was. It made its first appearance in 1850 and the general consensus always seemed to be that the cut was a rib eye. Who could argue with that? For most butchers and patrons, the rib eye is considered the most tended, most succulent of steaks.
The Delmonico steak has gone on to become a huge favorite and all great butcher shops will offer you this tender and most flavorful of cuts.