First American Restaurants
Delmonicos opened in 1827. It and the Sans Souci as well as Niblo’s Garden, all in New York, claim the fame of having been the first American Restaurants.
Delmonico’s Restaurant was opened in 1827 by the Swiss brothers Giovanni and Pietro Delmonico at 21-25 William Street. Taken over in 1831 by their nephew Lorenzo, it became the best known restaurant of the nineteenth century in the United States. After the original location was destroyed by fire in 1835, the restaurant moved to a second one at 76 Broad Street; this too was destroyed by fire in 1845. The restaurant then reopened as a five-story hotel and restaurant at 23-25 Broadway before successively to 5th Avenue at 14th Street (1860) and 26th Street (1876) as the city expanded northward. The restaurant popularized the leisurely lunch and dinner, and drew its clientele from the city’s elite. Delmonicos became known for the elegant presentation of fresh foods supplied by its farm in Brooklyn as well as for such culinary innovations as Baked Alaska and Lobster Newburg. A number of social events were held there, including the first debutante ball in the city held outside a private home (1870). The restaurant was closed in 1923 due to Prohibition.