Were Eggs Benedict Invented in Delmonico’s Kitchen?
Perhaps we’re a touch too excited about Delmonico’s (56 Beaver St.) finally reopening next month after its long hiatus, but this morning we choose to lean into a piece of lore that surfaced in an Australian publication over the weekend: allegedly, the 187-year-old dining room is responsible for inventing eggs Benedict, the decadent breakfast dish that probably gave brunch a reason to exist in the first place.
The Chronicle recalled three distinct anecdotes, all set in New York City, in which poached eggs with Canadian bacon and hollandaise got its name. Not to knock the other spots, but we only care about Delmonico’s:
[The story] is from a chef in Delmonico’s Restaurant in Lower Manhattan who claimed that, in the 1860s, he created the dish for one of his regular customers – a Mrs LeGrand Benedict. She had become bored with the menu and wanted something different. Surely ‘eggs LeGrand’ would have been a better choice here? Missed opportunity, for sure.
Delmonico’s has been slinging steaks and other classic fare since 1837, and has earned the distinction of being the nation’s first official restaurant. It reopens on September 15, with a snazzy new dining room and menu by executive chef Edward J. Hong. TBD on whether eggs Benedict will be on this menu, but you will find several prime cuts of steak, baked Alaska, lobster Newburg and sea urchin among other delights.
Next up: Larry David teaches us the supposed origins of the Cobb salad.
photo: iStockTags: delmonicos, eggs benedict