What Is Delmonico Steak?

What is Delmonico steak? A steak aficionado may already have the answer to that but rarely do new beef lovers appreciate this handsome cut of steak. It is common to assume that this is a steak recipe, but there is far more to a Delmonico steak’s rich legacy, especially in New York.

Let’s explore the origins and tastes associated with the classic Delmonico steak to prompt the right steak decision at your next dining experience.

Origins Of The Delmonico Steak

As the story goes, the Delmonico steak began its journey at the popular eatery 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’s rightly receives credit for its contributions to transforming society’s idea of what a restaurant should look like because they were the first to offer the butcher’s cut called “Delmonico steak” that elevated steakhouse dining.

The eatery was also the first to add many of the steakhouse staples in restaurants today, including classics like Baked Alaska, Eggs Benedict, Chicken Al La King, and Delmonico potatoes.

The innovative Delmonico’s team changed the face of restaurant dining, giving us one of the most cherished cuts of meat in the process.

What Exactly is a Delmonico Steak?

So, what is Delmonico steak? It is a cut of beef but not necessarily a specific type of steak, like a T-bone or NY Strip. Delmonico steak is not rib-eye steak, but the chef may choose to use the rib eye cut on occasion. Instead, Delmonico steak is a tender and flawless cut that looks just right and is at its freshest.

Sometimes, it is a rib-eye steak, but these expensive cuts are not necessary to achieve the signature dish. Typical Delmonico steaks are generous slabs of meat that range from one to two inches thick.

Any thick-cut steak of decent quality may serve as a “Delmonico Steak.” 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

At the turn of the century, people used “Delmonico” as a catchphrase to denote the “best” choice of steak, and it is still a common marketing term today.

There are primarily five cuts of meat served as Delmonico Steak, including thick-cut:

  1. Boneless chuck-eye steak (last cut)
  2. Bone-in rib eye (first cut)
  3. Boneless rib-eye steak (any cut)
  4. Boneless top loin (first cut)
  5. Bone-in top loin

Purists insist that Delmonico-style steak should be the first cut bone-in top loin (the fifth option above). It will often appear on a menu as such, but each carcass only provides two of these steaks.

Where is the Delmonico Steak on a Cow?

Legend indicates the first three inches of chuck eye where it attaches to the rib eye. While it is a romantic notion, no restaurant can succeed by killing a steer a day. Delmonico steak establishments would need more than two steaks per day, even if it were a novelty in the 1800s.

What Does Delmonico Steak Taste Like?

What is Delmonico steak traditionally prepared with? Chefs usually broil or grill these fine pieces of meat as long as the meal retains a smooth, buttery flavor. The Delmonico steak typically relies on a heavy coating of butter and various herbs to intensify the taste alongside the chef’s signature seasonings.

Where to Buy Delmonico Steak?

Finding this steak could be challenging, but a reputable butcher is a great resource. They can help you find the highest quality selections with the right thickness for a Delmonico representation. If you buy meat at a local supermarket “off the rack,” there’s no harm in asking at the butchery counter.

Nutrition & Calories

If bone-in top loin is the ‘truest Delmonico steak,’ it’s an unsustainable feat. No matter which one of the five cuts you choose above, a single serving of Delmonico steak contains about 1100 calories. One serving contains about 88 grams of protein and 73 grams of fat (30 grams of saturated fat).

Delmonico Steak Recipes

Delmonico’s Steakhouse operates in its beloved Big Apple location, but what is Delmonico steak best for at home? Whether you use the chuck eye, rib eye, or short loin, a thick, high-quality piece of meat needs to be the best of the best. Why not recreate an authentic Delmonico’s flavor with butter and herbs, broiled or grilled to perfection?

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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.