A genuine New York institution, Delmonico’s has good claim to being the USA’s original fine-dining restaurant, having opened in 1837 in the city’s original boom years. Even then, it had a fine cellar containing around 1,000 bottles of fine wine. And, just as the restaurant’s original classic dishes—such as the legendary Delmonico’s steak, eggs benedict, baked Alaska, lobster newburg and chicken à la Keene—remain on the menu today, so the wine list remains a vital ingredient in Delmonico’s continuing allure.
It’s a list with a big personality, which is communicated nicely in the run of thumbnail sketches of regions, producers, and grape varieties that pepper its 27 pages. A genuinely international list, it is notably strong in California, but there are intelligent choices from all over the world, whether sourcing Achaval Ferrer’s Finca Mirador Malbec from Argentina, or Pichler’s peerless Rieslings from Austria’s Wachau.