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Delmonico's Restaurant

In 1941 at Oscar's Delmonico at 56 Beaver Street  

The Delmonico Steak was $1.35 

Chicken with Rice was $1.00 

Broiled French Lamb Chops were .95 cents 

Chicken Salad was $1.15 

Whole Cold Lobster Salad was $1.50, the most expensive item on the menu 

Coffee was .20 cents 

Tea was .20 cents 

Spumoni was .30 cents 

Slice of Boston Cream Pie was.25 cents 


Source: Oscar Maximillian Tucci 


Two Families Merge, (The Delmonico's and The Tucci's) and Create Restaurant History

by Mary Tucci


Delmonico’s, at 56 Beaver Street, was America’s first fine dining restaurant. The birthplace of the Delmonico Steak, Delmonico Potatoes, Eggs Benedict, Lobster Newburg, and Baked Alaska, the original Delmonico’s offered a new novelty in dining, including the Parisian "bill of fare", or a carte, (which today we call a menu) instead of a price fix meal. The brick, Beaux-Arts structure was built in 1891 by James Brown Lord. The Renaissance-inspired building is faced in orange brick with a brownstone base and terra-cotta trim.

     On December 13, 1827, Swiss brothers Giovanni (John) and Pietro (Peter) Del-Monico opened a small pastry shop at 23 William Street called Delmonico and Brother. Business was growing an in 1829, they rented a room in the adjoining building, at 25 William Street and by 1830, they rented the entire building, which served as a restaurant next to the cafe.

     In 1834, the brothers used purchased a 220 acre farm on Long Island (incorporated into Brookln in 1855), where they grew vegetables, many that were not otherwise available in America, for the restaurant. In 1834, they purchased a lodging house at 76 Broad Street.

     The Fire of 1835 destroyed much of lower New York including the restaurant and cafe and just two months later, the brothers started rebuilding at 2 South William Street. The building was 3 1/2 stories high, and the entrance featured marble pillars imported from Pompeii, that today flank the corner entrance of the Beaver Street location. The first and second floors featured large "saloons" (dining rooms), decorated with inlaid floors and the most expensive decor. The third floor held several private dining rooms, as well as the kitchen. The cellar included wine vaults stocked with 16,000 bottles of French wine. For the first time, the brothers gave it the name Delmonico's Restaurant. But the public soon called it The Citadel.

         In 1845, another fire swept through the city destroying the lodging house, but sparing The Citadel. Under Lorenzo, Peter's nephew, the family business leased a parcel of land at Broadway and Morris Street to open the new Delmonico Hotel, which was the first hotel in the United States to operate under the European plan--with rooms and and meals price separately.

        In 1848, Peter retired and sold his half interest to Lorenzo, paving the way for a grand era until 1856 when Lorenzo let the lease expire, closing the hotel In 1856, he opened a new restaurant at Broadway and Chambers Street, turning the Citadel into a luncheonette. In 1862, Lorenzo opened a second restaurant uptown at Fifth Avenue and East 14th Street. He followed in 1865 with a new branch at 22 Broad Street. In 1876, he moved his Union Square branch uptown near Madison Square, and his Chambers Street location to 112-114 Pine Street. Lorenzo died in 1881 and chef Charles Ranhofer took over the franhcise until he died in 1884.

     Under the guidance of general manager, Young Charly, a new location was opened on July 7, 1891 on 56 Beaver and South William Streets. In 1923, after only 32 years on South William Street, the Delmonico dynasty came to an end and all the Delmonco's restaurants were closed. Ending an era. It was in 1929, shortly before the Wall Street Crash and Prohibition, Oscar Tucci re-opened, re-established and resurrected the famous South William Street building which he named Delmonico's Restaurant after the original (1837) but which the public knew as Oscar's Delmonico or just simply  Oscar's and carried the famous location in the Tucci family for the next 50 years. Without Oscar Tucci, Delmonico's would be a institution and name that would be lost forever.

         Tucci made the Wall Street location a popular place to be when he hosted parties for American Royalty, Wall Street Tycoons, U.S. Presidents, International Leaders and Hollywood; Such as Gypsy Rose Lee, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Red Buttons, Lana Turner, President Richard Nixon, Bella Abzug and so many others. Oscar Tucci also retained and continued the original menus and recipes. Tucci, created many famous oddities at Delmonicos; Such as The Wedge Salad and the term 86ed. Tucci, also created famous restauranteurs such as Sirro Maccioni from Le Crique, Tony May from San Domenico and Harry Poulakakos from Harry's at Hanover Square and many others including his son, Mario Tucci who re-established Delmonico's in Greenwich, Connecticut in the 1980's. In which Mario Tucci has passed down the Oscar's Delmonico heritage to his son Oscar Maximillian Tucci.

         Because of the Tucci family, the legendary name of Delmonico's is still in existence, many others have tried to re-claim the fame and re-establish the restaurant, however none are affiliated with the Tucci family or The Original Oscar's Delmonico.