Nestled at the intersection of Beaver & William Streets in New York City's Financial District lies a culinary gem, Delmonico’s. This iconic establishment has witnessed and withstood various challenges, including pandemics, eviction threats, and bankruptcy. And now, after a hiatus that seemed eternal to its legion of loyal patrons, Delmonico's has triumphantly reopened its doors.
Credits: Geo. R. Lawrence Co. - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID pan.6a34878
The journey wasn't easy. The shadows of early 2020 brought an uninvited guest – the COVID pandemic. While Delmonico’s, like many others, was forced to close its doors, it faced additional trials from rent disputes and an intense ownership conflict between the former (Grgurev brothers) and new (Dennis Turcinovic and Joseph Licul) owners, finally ending with the latter getting a new 15-year lease.
Yet, adversity often inspires change. This hiatus became an opportunity for Delmonico’s to undergo a sweeping renovation. The result? A fusion of past and present. While the restaurant maintains its historical charm, it now sports a modern look and menu, all while respecting its 186-year culinary legacy.
A new beginning with homage to the past
The resurgence isn't just in the ambiance, but also in the kitchen. It has retained its stature as America's first fine-dining restaurant but is now reinvigorated with a contemporary twist. Leading the culinary innovation is Chef Edward J. Hong, a veteran from various Michelin-starred kitchens in NYC. He has introduced an array of new dishes, such as the Myung Ran Caesar Salad and Sea Urchin & Abalone Risotto, while preserving the restaurant's classic favorites.
Myung Ran Caesar Salad - Credits: Delmonico's
Delmonico Steak - Credits: Delmonico's
Delmonico’s stands as more than just a restaurant; it represents an enduring chapter in the vast culinary narrative of New York City. Opening its doors in 1837, this establishment didn't just serve food—it set precedents. As America's first fine-dining restaurant, Delmonico's was responsible for pioneering many of the traditions and norms that have since become synonymous with upscale dining, like private dining rooms and table reservations.
Lobster Newberg - Credits: Delmonico's
Its innovative menu brought to the world dishes like baked Alaska, lobster Newberg, eponymous Delmonico steak, and by some accounts, even eggs Benedict, which are now celebrated classics. Beyond the food, the institution introduced an elevated standard of service, setting the tone for future establishments across the nation.
Baked Alaska - Credits: Delmonico's
A tale of heritage and modernity
Further adding to the allure is Max Tucci, the restaurant’s Global Brand Ambassador. As a descendent of the Tucci family, which had run Delmonico’s for over 60 years after its Prohibition reopening in the 1920s, Tucci brings an intimate connection to the establishment's lineage.
Apart from Tucci, the guiding force behind the revival is Dennis Turcinovic, the owner and operator of Delmonico’s Restaurant Group. Turcinovic, an industry stalwart with over 25 years of hospitality experience, and his partner Joseph Licul, have signed a 15-year lease, ensuring the restaurant's continued presence at its historic location.
With its resplendent return, Delmonico’s is once again poised to offer an unmatched dining experience, intertwining its historic roots with a touch of modernity and adrenaline-packed action. As Tucci aptly puts it, “Nothing can keep Delmonico’s closed.” This renaissance assures patrons old and new that Delmonico's phoenix has truly risen from the ashes.