Delmonico’s, located just a few blocks away from the New York Stock Exchange in downtown Manhattan, opened in 1837 as one of the first sit-down restaurants in America.
But while the restaurant is perhaps best known for its steaks, it also has a selection of food items you won’t find on the menu. Called the “Secret Billionaire’s Menu,” these dishes will set you back quite a bit — there’s a grilled cheese sandwich for $100, for example, and a golden twist on the classic black-and-white cookie for $50.
“We have a lot of Wall Street guys down here and they’re always looking to outdo one another,” Executive Chef Billy Oliva told Business Insider.
We recently got to try out the menu in person — here’s what it was like.
Currently celebrating its 180th anniversary, Delmonico’s is one of the oldest restaurants in America. Mark Twain (bottom left) and Abraham Lincoln both dined here in their day.
Here, you’ll see Chef Charles Ranhofer, who headed up kitchen operations there for much of the late 1800s. Delmonico’s credits Ranhofer with inventing Eggs Benedict, Baked Alaska, Lobster Newburg and Chicken A la Keene, all of which are still on the restaurant’s menu today.
Today, Executive Chef Billy Oliva runs the kitchen. He said that the restaurant’s “billionaire” menu items are an open secret among the Delmonico’s staff. “The bartenders know about it, the servers in the bar know about it. They all started with regulars that were looking for something different,” Oliva said.
It comes topped with wagyu beef, lobster, foie gras, black truffle shavings, and edible 24-carat gold leaf.
It’s definitely not your typical grilled cheese sandwich. This one comes with Scharfe Maxx and L’Etivaz cheeses, in-house cured bacon that’s been slow-roasted for 18 hours, black truffle shavings, and fig mustard.
Next, you can have a black & gold half-moon cookie, priced at $50 each. A twist on the classic black and white cookie, it’s made with 24-carat gold dust mixed with white fondant.
The $35 “Billionaire’s Milkshake” comes in two flavors: chocolate and coffee. They’re topped with ice cream, caramelized popcorn, chocolate garnish and draped in edible 24-carat gold leaf.
All told, ordering the secret menu at Delmonico’s would set you back quite a bit. “It certainly tastes good to be a billionaire,” said Business Insider’s Arielle Berger.