This New York City steakhouse allegedly houses ancient relics
New York's first restaurant was built with Pompeiian artifacts.
A couple of brothers from Switzerland, John and Peter Delmonico opened Delmonico's restaurant in 1827 as a pastry shop on William Street. Then shortly thereafter they renovated the bakery into a dining room with six tables. After the Great Fire of 1835 destroyed all of William Street, the restaurant was rebuilt in 1837, at the corner of Beaver and William streets. Considered New York City's first "real restaurant", the dining establishment offered an 11-page menu that included "47 different veal dishes."
"In August, 1837, construction was completed. The building was 3 1/2 stories high, and the entrance featured marble pillars imported fromthe portico of delmonico's Pompeii. The first and second floors featured large "saloons" (dining rooms), decorated with inlaid floors and the most expensive decor. The third floor held several private dining rooms, as well as the kitchen. The cellar included wine vaults stocked with 16,000 bottles of French wine." - Steak Perfection
In New York today [the year 1967] two establishments endeavor to uphold the tradition -- the Delmonico Hotel, uptown on Park Avenue, and Delmonico's Restaurant, downtown, in the building at Beaver and South William Streets. Neither of these has any connection with the Delmonico family or the original business. The hotel was erected in 1929, well after the last real Delmonico's had vanished, while the restaurant, formerly known as "Oscar's Delmonico's," has as its only link with the founders of the historic institution the Pompeiian pillars in the portico, that were brought from Italy by John and Peter more than a century ago. (Delmonico's: A Century of Splendor, by Thomas Lately)
If you're in NYC and you can't get into Delmonico's for dinner, try one of these other Big Apple establishments...Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
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