The Delmonico Way
By Max Tucci
2022 • Rizzoli International Publications
Located in the heart of Wall Street, Delmonico’s from 1827 to the 1980s shaped New York City’s restaurant scene. Under the original ownership of The Delmonico Brothers, Pietro and Giovanni, Delmonico’s introduced the first farm-to-table concept, à la carte dining—complete with white tablecloths and menus—but most notably created the phenomenon called the “power lunch." Despite Delmonico’s triumphs, the impact of World War I and the era of Prohibition caused the family to cease operations, shuttering the restaurant in 1923. In 1926 a new era for Delmonico’s arose. Oscar Tucci, a Tuscan immigrant, took over ownership and re-established Delmonico’s first as a Speakeasy and then he continued the Delmonico brothers’ tradition, transforming it to a beacon of fine dining. Oscar developed a strict code of hospitality, etiquette, and operations coupled with legendary libations and superb fare known as the Delmonico way. After six decades of operations, The Tucci Family closed Delmonico’s in the late 1980s, however the Delmonico way still lives on today because of Max Tucci. THE DELMONICO WAY: SUBLIME ENTERTAINING & LEGENDARY RECIPES FROM THE RESTAURANT THAT MADE NEW YORK! by Max Tucci, Oscar’s grandson, opens the double doors of his family's Delmonico’s, welcoming us to a world when dining out was a glamorous affair. Max along with his celebrity chef friends offer timeless recipes and Max, shares his tips for recreating the magic of the Delmonico way at home.
Royalty, celebrities, socialites, U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries, and business tycoons all frequented Delmonico’s. Elizabeth Taylor, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Rock Hudson, Marilyn Monroe, Lena Horne, Gypsy Rose Lee, Eva Gabor and Zsa Zsa Gabor, King Umberto II of Italy, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, President Richard Nixon, Chubby Checker, Christine Jorgensen, and Joan Crawford were among some of the most notable names that Tucci welcomed to his tables which were famously adorned with Ginori, Baccarat, Lalique, and Christofle.
Each chapter is organized around a style of dining that Delmonico’s pioneered or perfected under Tucci’s proprietorship, including how to host an impressive power lunch (featuring Oscar's creation, the signature wedge salad); a glamorous cocktail soirée before a night on the town, complete with oysters Rockefeller and shrimp cocktail; and the perfect romantic dinner for two with a show-stopping seafood tower and ribeye Bordelaise. THE DELMONICO WAY includes over 70 recipes, including two from the restaurant’s most famous alumni, Sirio Maccioni’s Pasta Primavera and Tony May’s trademarked Uovo Raviolo. In addition to fine fare, "The Bar'' chapter features sophisticated cocktails that include the classic Delmonico, a legendary Negroni with a "Delmonico way" twist, and the festive Spencer cocktail created by artist Ashley Longshore's grandmother.
Renowned designer Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich expertly layers vintage era photographs, ephemera, menus, and countless other gems featured in THE DELMONICO WAY that remind us that entertaining with style, elegance, sophistication, and intention remain just as relevant today as it did during the height of the era.
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