Tag Archives: steak

Delmonico’s Kitchen in Midtown

12 Dec

The original Delmonico’s is a New York institution and has been around for nearly 200 years.  I’ve been reading a very interesting, but very long book, called Appetite City and they have an entire (very fascinating) chapter dedicated to the history of the restaurant. When Delmonico’s first opened, there weren’t fine dining options in the city.  People were fed what was being served at inns, rather than being able to order their own food. So two brothers came together to offer New York City diners a menu, tablecloths, and food from a real “chef.”  The restaurant is famous for inventing some dishes we still eat (and love) today, such as Eggs Benedict, Baked Alaska, and Lobster Newburg.

We ate at the original for Restaurant Week a few years ago, and we were a bit underwhelmed.

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About a year ago, they opened up a midtown location called Delmonico’s Kitchen, just a few short blocks from where we live. We had been meaning to try it for a long time, however, we finally got there a few weeks ago to check it out. The restaurant had about a 20 minute wait on this Friday night, but there were seats available at the bar with the full menu, so we went for it.

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The bread basket they served had a very nice selection, with a few warm items and pink salted butter.

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I went with the boneless slow cooked short ribs with “baby spinach, sweet potato hash, red wine natural.”  I love short ribs, however, I was shocked at just how big this cut of short rib was.  It was more like a big piece of brisket with the taste of succulent, sweet short ribs. I absolutely loved this dish.  I did the happy belly dance while taking down half of the portion (and sharing with Mike) and took the rest home for an amazing short rib and egg breakfast the next day.

The sauce was rich but not overpowering and the meat had a great flavor.  The hash underneath somehow didn’t get the least bit soggy and maintained all the great flavors of each veggie.  Really fantastic.

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Mike went with the DK Double Burger which was described as “Our prime burger blend continues the legacy that began in 1837 when America’s first hamburger was served at Delmonico’s.”  How can a burger lover such as Mike not try America’s first hamburger?

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And it was a doozy.  At least 6 inches stacked high.

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I had no idea how Mike would manage to take a bit out of this, but he prevailed!

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And it was a really fantastic burger.  With a stack that high, one might expect it would all become a scrambled mess, but instead the thin burger bun was a great conduit for the flavorful, well charred meat and the collection of cheese and burger toppings.  Great burger. And the fries were pretty damn good too.

By taking back leftovers, we scraped up enough room to try dessert.  It all sounded great, but Delmonico’s is known for their Baked Alaska, so we decided to try their midtown version.

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This was a beautiful piece of art.

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Lovely cherry and chocolate ice cream inside on a chocolate cake/crust base, covered in marshmallowy soft meringue and browned ever so slightly on the outside.

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A beautiful, tasty, and decadent dessert.  It felt special.

The whole meal really felt special.  Those short ribs were some of the best I’ve had and I am sure we will be returning with guests as the weather grows colder and we stay closer to home.  Glad to have this in the neighborhood.

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10

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Green Bay, WI: Wally’s Spot Supper Club

12 Nov

I went to Green Bay (via the Milwaukee Airport and a 2 hour drive each way) for a business trip. We were in Wisconsin for just about 24 hours, but in that time, we had to make a stop for dinner.  I was with someone that spent time in Wisconsin and she recommended going to a Supper Club, which is popular in WI.  She found Wally’s Spot Supper Club and we plugged it into the GPS.

After miles and miles on a highway without much of anything, we drove into Green Bay by a bunch of strip malls. And then the GPS told us we had arrived and I looked beside us to see a building that really can only be described as resembling a strip club. It had a neon sign rotating on a giant round marquis.  (Check out their site if you want a taste of the classiness)

But hell… we were in Green Bay. So I was up for an adventure.

We went in and it was immediately evident that this was a local’s joint. Everyone knew everyone and I had to remind myself that we were not in New York City anymore as we were juggled around and finally seated by the bar tender in the dining room, which resembled a catering hall with a lovely drop ceiling.

Trying to leave my judgements beside, I couldn’t help but feel like we were a sore thumb as we pulled out or iPhones and snapped pictures, but hell, why not.

Most entrees come with a salad bar, which wasn’t too big but had all the right things to put together a good salad. (And it kind of reminded me of a Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, a place I have no embarrassment admitting to loving)

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The bread came out and it was quite tasty, though I can only assume that the shiny stuff on top was butter?

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Our meals also came with soup, for which an option was French Onion. The waitress then asked if we wanted melted mozzarella on top for an additional $1. I was quite taken aback that French Onion soup could possibly be served without cheese, but we sprung the extra $1 and got it. We were in Wisconsin, afterall.  This was just okay. The cheese obviously being an afterthought meant that there were no burnt on bits (which is the best part of the soup, in my opinion) and the soup tasted similar to the canned variety to me.  I think French Onion Soup is typically also served with a more flavorful cheese, like provolone, so it was not what I was hoping for.

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I got the surf and turf and went with a prime rib and scallops. The scallops were some of the most boring, tasteless scallops I’ve ever had (serves me right for ordering in a very land locked state) but the prime rib was quite flavorful and the jus with it was nice and meaty.

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It was served with “hash browns” which was a plate of very thin, grated potatoes that were not quite crispy and had just about zero flavor. Shame. This could have been an awesome version of a latke.  Miss.

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My coworker got the New York strip steak. I just had to laugh when I saw it was served with two pats of butter right on top. I mean, sure, steak with butter is great, but this was just two pats… right on top.  She seemed to enjoy her steak though.photo 1

Even though we were stuffed, they mentioned that one of their waitresses is the baker and makes everything from scratch. So along with the orange sherbet that came with the meal (on the right in the picture below… egregiously colored but nicely flavored), we got the banana cream cheese and the chocolate mousse cakes.

The banana cake was very nice, which a great moist banana bread flavor.  Though the icing was a bit under-flavored, the cake made up for it.

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I really liked the chocolate mousse cake.  Not too sweet, not too bitter, all the right textures.

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And did I mention that the pieces were HUGE?

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Overall, Wally’s Spot was just too easy to make fun of as being a midwest “hot spot” with mediocre food.  Some things were very good, some were very bland.  I see why this place is liked by locals, however, I was happy to return to Manhattan.

Total Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10



Portland, ME: Local 188

9 Apr

We have really enjoyed the food scene in Portland, Maine, and I feel incredibly lucky that we have been able to spend 4 separate visits in Maine this past year (all these wedding trips have been awesome!)

When inquiring about any “must eats” we haven’t tried yet, Local 188 came up from a few different foodie friends.  They specialize in local ingredients, so their menu is printed anew each day.


The space has a great feel to it. Very high ceilings, big windows, and room between tables.


And I enjoyed the pretty sprigs of pussy willows on the tables.


We started with some cocktails, and I very much enjoyed my Bergeron Sidecar with house infused fig & vanilla bean bourbon, cointreau, fresh lemon juice.


The bread came out warm and it was like a mix between challah and a great crispy roll. A bit of salt and good olive oil on it. Very nice.


We began with “the livers” which came in a shallot cream. This was rich and decadent. We asked for more bread to be able to soak up the awesome shallot cream, which had a faintly liver taste (in the best way).


Next we tried the salad with winter squash and bourbon candied pecans, pickled onion, roasted apple, and blue cheese dressing. This tasted great but was a bit lacking in the squash department.


And then we split the dry-aged rib eye filet, which came with smoked oyster mushrooms, russet potato hash, red-eye gravy, and maple and black garlic creme anglaise.


The meat was cooked to perfect, and all the accoutrements were fantastic, but the smoked oyster mushrooms were other worldly. They had an intense smoky flavor, the richness of mushrooms, and were the perfect texture. The meal was very good, but these mushrooms were unbelievable. I love mushrooms and this beat them all.  If this isn’t on the menu regularly, they should make a dish entirely based around it. It is just that good. Thinking back on this taste at this moment leaves me with a feeling of great longing. If you don’t see this on the menu, ask for it. I’m telling you. It’s that good.


Since we split everything, we still had some room for dessert.

So Mike chose the honey ricotta cheesecake, which came with a beautiful sugar decoration and had great flavor. The ricotta really made it light and the crust was really flavorful.


I got the flourless chocolate torte with semi-sweet chocolate ganache. This was rich but not overwhelming. The caramel around it paired very nicely and I enjoyed every bite.


Overall, we really enjoyed our meal at Local 188 and we were very happy that we were so strongly recommended to try it. All the food was very tasty and, by our NYC standards, very affordable for the quality and artisanship that went into it. You can tell the people that run this restaurant really care about the food they put out.

And those smoked mushrooms.

Glory be those smoked mushrooms.

The mushrooms alone got this review categorized in the Best of the Best list.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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