This month marks year 180 for Delmonico’s, the classic New York steakhouse that’s also credited as America’s first fine dining restaurant. Opened in 1837, the restaurant has gone through several owners and over eight locations before settling into its current triangular space at 56 Beaver Street. The now-iconic room has several other claims to fame, including allegedly inventing lobster Newburg, eggs Benedict, and baked Alaska. Here’s a look at the restaurant’s history, by the numbers:
11: The number of U.S. Presidents Delmonico’s has served (Martin Van Buren, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Harry Truman).
1868: The year that the storied downtown steakhouse shattered a (metaphorical) glass ceiling: Delmonico’s was the first in New York City to serve women unescorted by men, hosting The Sorosis Club, the first professional women’s club in the U.S.
150,000 to 200,000: Pounds of beef the restaurant goes through in a year. Of that, rib-eye makes up 50,000 while filet mignon is another 50K pounds.
500: The average number of meals served every single day.
11,000: Bottles of wine stored in the vault.
$14,500: The most expensive of which costs this much for one bottle.
$45,000.00: the amount per bottle of the oldest bottle of a limited edition of Pappy Van Winkle Distillery
$10,000: The largest tip in Delmonico’s history, left to a bartender on a bill for one Corona.
$.90: The cost of roast ribs at lunch in 1917.
$70: The per-person check average at lunch 100 years later. At dinner, that number rises to $120.
11: The number of times Delmonico’s has been featured on Jeopardy! trivia.
1876: The year diner Ben Wenberg showed the Delmonico’s chef how to make what is now known as Lobster Newberg. The chef added it to the menu, but after a fallout between the owner and Wenberg, the name was changed to Newberg.
180: How old Delmonico’s turns this year, with a special 180-day dry-aged steak to commemorate the occasion. More on that below: