A Rebirth Of Culinary Excellence

By Jenna Guarneri

After a prolonged hiatus, the legendary Delmonico’s restaurant has rekindled its legacy and officially reopened its doors for dining. Located at 56 Beaver Street in the heart of the Financial District, Delmonico’s emerges from its hibernation with a rejuvenated ambiance, a fresh executive chef, and new ownership while paying homage to its illustrious 186-year history.

The restaurant is esteemed in American culinary history as the nation’s first fine dining establishment. The pioneer introduced the term “restaurant” to the American lexicon, forever changing the way people dined. Before Delmonico’s, eating out was often an informal and unstructured experience. However, this iconic establishment elevated dining into an art form, setting the stage for the refined dining culture we cherish today.

Another groundbreaking achievement that Delmonico’s can proudly claim is being the first restaurant to publish a cookbook. This historic culinary tome not only preserved the restaurant’s cherished recipes but also inspired chefs and food enthusiasts for generations to come.

Furthermore, Delmonico’s challenged societal norms by becoming the first restaurant to serve women at their tables without the accompaniment of men. This progressive approach was groundbreaking in the 19th century and symbolized the restaurant’s commitment to inclusivity and innovation.

As Delmonico’s prepares to reopen its doors, it’s worth noting that this venerable institution boasts a history that predates many of New York City’s most iconic landmarks. Delmonico’s is older than the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Flatiron Building, and the Grand Central Terminal. It has been a steadfast witness to the ever-evolving landscape of the city it calls home.

One of the most significant changes at Delmonico’s is the appointment of Chef Edward J. Hong as its Executive Chef. Chef Hong boasts a rich culinary background that includes stints in some of New York City’s most renowned Michelin-starred kitchens, bringing a refreshing and innovative touch to the restaurant’s menu. Diners can now tantalize their taste buds with delightful creations like the Myung Ran Caesar Salad, featuring Little Gem lettuce, Parmesan, White Anchovies, Chives, and Creamy Myung Dressing. Another standout dish is the Sea Urchin & Abalone Risotto, made with Koshihikari Rice, Abalone Liver Sauce, Nori, Crispy Shitake, and Shaved Frozen Oysters. 

To honor the restaurant’s rich culinary history, Chef Hong will also highlight revamped versions of American classics that have made Delmonico’s legendary. Expect to savor Baked Alaska, Lobster Newberg, Chicken à la Keene, and the iconic Delmonico Steak, featuring an 18-oz Brandt Beef cut. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, the menu boasts a 14-oz Prime Dry-Aged Bone-In Ribeye, crowned with Uni Butter.

“Delmonico’s has always been in the unique position of serving guests from around the world,” shared Chef Hong. “The restaurant is known for its high culinary standards and signature dishes, and I’m excited to enrich Delmonico’s dining experience by introducing the option of new global flavors and techniques while also celebrating its classic dishes.” 

Max Tucci, a culinary professional, television personality, and best-selling author has joined the 3rd Generation Partner and Global Brand Officer team. Max brings a unique connection to Delmonico’s—his grandfather was one of the owners who reopened Delmonico’s after Prohibition in the 1920s. With his family’s deep-rooted history with the restaurant, Max Tucci is set to oversee and support the restaurant’s guest experience, ensuring that Delmonico’s continues to thrive as a culinary institution.

In his cookbook, The Delmonico Way: Sublime Entertaining and Legendary Recipes from the Restaurant that Made New York! Max Tucci provides an insider’s perspective on the restaurant’s rich history and culinary traditions. Now, he’ll play a pivotal role in carrying forward the Delmonico’s legacy. 

“Delmonico’s culinary, events, and guest experience teams are composed of impressive talent who are all looking forward to this next chapter in Delmonico’s storied history,” shared Dennis Turcinovic, owner and operator of Delmonico’s Restaurant Group.

Turcinovic and his partner Joseph Licul, both seasoned restaurateurs, have reaffirmed their commitment to Delmonico’s by signing a 15-year lease for the historic building. Turcinovic, who has been associated with the renowned establishment since 1999, brings over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry to the table. His dedication to preserving Delmonico’s legacy is unwavering.  

As the sun sets on the pandemic era, Delmonico’s stands ready to usher in a new generation of culinary excellence, tradition, and innovation. With a fresh look, a talented Executive Chef, and a commitment to honoring its past, Delmonico’s promises to continue its reign as a cornerstone of fine dining in the heart of New York City.