What Is a Delmonico Steak?

The term “Delmonico steak” has many different definitions, and none is 100% confirmed. Even an experienced steak enthusiast may have a problem finding a consensus answer to this question of what a Delmonico steak is.

Origins Of The Delmonico Steak

As the story goes, the Delmonico steak began its journey at the popular restaurant of the same name. Delmonico restaurant in New York City was one of the first establishments to give diners a choice of items from a menu (until Delmonico’s opened in 1837, restaurants decided what guests would eat). Restaurants did not have “menus,” only a single meal for the day. 

Delmonico rightly receives credit for transforming society’s idea of what a restaurant should look like. They were the first to offer the butcher’s cut called “Delmonico steak”. Unfortunately, the definition of modern Delmonico Steak has changed a lot since those days and varies from place to place.

What Exactly is a Delmonico Steak?

Many years ago, Joe O’Connell (author and editor of Steak Perfection) analyzed the history of the Delmonico steak. He proved in his article that authentic Delmonico steak is boneless top loin steak (cut from the short loin). Nowadays, depending on the source, the term “Delmonico steak” refers to as many as nine cuts of beef. The most popular cut to which the modern definition of Delmonico steak refers is ribeye steak.

Any thick-cut steak of decent quality may serve as a “Delmonico Steak.” typical Delmonico steaks are generous meat slabs ranging from one to two inches thick. Chuck eye steaks, boneless rib eye, and other high-quality cuts will do because it is not where the meat comes from but the size and quality that matters.

Other Names for Delmonico Steak Cuts

Over the years, people have used the term “Delmonico Steak” to describe various cuts of beef. Here are the most popular ones:

  1. Boneless chuck-eye steak
  2. Bone-in rib eye steak
  3. Boneless ribeye steak
  4. Boneless top loin steak
  5. Bone-in top loin steak
  6. Bone-in rib steak
  7. Club steak

Delmonico vs. Ribeye: What’s the Difference?

Delmonico steak is a type of steak that borrows its name from Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York. These days, the term “Delmonico steak” usually refers to ribeye steak. So, in this case, the difference is only in the name because Delmonico steak is simply ribeye steak.

If we consider an authentic Delmonico steak a top loin, the main difference between the two will be the area on the cow from which the cut comes. The top loin comes from the short loin area, while the ribeye comes from the rib area. Ribeye is fatter, richer in flavor, and more tender than top loin.

Delmonico Steak FAQs

What Cut of Meat is a Delmonico Steak?

The story indicates a top loin steak from the short loin area on the cow. However, modern Delmonico steak varies widely from location to location. The most popular Delmonico steak cuts are ribeye steak, chuck eye steak, strip steak, and any other flavorful cut around 2 inches thick.

What Does Delmonico Steak Taste Like?

Delmonico steak is usually a fatty, tender, and flavorful cut that looks just right and has a good level of marbling. It is often a ribeye steak or any other equally good steak.

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam is the founder of Steak Revolution. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.