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Johnny Delmonico's

In a word: Now that's a steak.

The specs: #0281
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews by Dennis Getto (RIP), Jayme Joyce, Menacing Buddha, Yelp, At First Taste, Krik's Picks, Mad City Eats, Accidental Foodist, official web site, Delmonico's on Urbanspoon

Latest Johnny Delmonico's news and reviews

JM and  Nichole ate the "Every night is date night" 16 oz. Chateaubriand with sauteed mushrooms and mac & cheese.
JM also had the French Onion soup and a lemonade.
Nichole also had the vegetable beef soup.
The bill was $73, or $36.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave Johnny Delmonico's an A- (see our grading rubric).

Johnny Delmonico'sA meal at Johnny Delmonico's is not a meal you want to write about when you're hungry, lest you drool on the keyboard. We can only hope our account makes it sound as good as it tasted.

Throughout the meal, the service was impeccable - friendly and warm, yet professional. The wine list was substantial, though we stuck to our usual libations (the lemonade was a bit watery - we might take a pass next time).

Bread basketA warm bread basket reached us within moments. Each slice had a great sourdough crust and tender, sweet crumb that barely made butter necessary. Peoplewatching out the ceiling-height windows onto Pinckney St. during rush hour made the wait for our soups speed by.

 

Beef vegetable soupNichole's fragrant beef vegetable soup benefited from the addition of kale. Generous bits of meat and savory vegetables were tender but not overdone. This meal could have stopped at bread and soup and been quite memorable in and of itself.

 

French onion soupIn contrast, JM found the French onion soup a bit bland, without much kick. Overall, the hot cheese was its zenith, vs. the one-flavor glop in the bowl.  Luckily the soup course was small and served to heighten the flavor of the steak to follow.

 

Mac and cheeseA side of macaroni and cheese, while promising and very appropriate for a Wisconsin steakhouse, shied away from the decadence of cheesiness you might expect. The crumb and bacon topping was the best part, of course. We liked the sauteed mushrooms a lot - their brothy saltiness was delicious.

ChateaubriandThe star of the show was the Chateaubriand for two. A generous (16 oz.) filet mignon came cut for two on a bed of lipid-drenched sauteed onions and zucchini. Thick cut, tender, and cooked to order, this was one of the best steaks we've ever had. The Bordelaise (red wine and beef marrow) sauce was subtly applied, adding just a layer of flavor to the surface of the meat, but it was delightfully salty and rich.  Mm mm.

All in all, the price ($70 for steak, soup and two sides) was not bad for a top-notch, linen-tablecloth experience.

Comments

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I swore I would never go to Johnny Delmonico's after reading a bad review about them (I think in the Isthmus?). The review said the steak wasn't that great, it was overpriced, and you had to pay extra for sides. I'm too cheap for that.

But now I will reconsider. Thanks for the review! Oh, and I like the word "lipid-drenched." Classy.

Hoo boy, speaking of bad, overpriced steak, just wait for the next review...

I've never been, but my mood right now is screaming for some red meat!
I'm not a fan of the ala carte concept though either...

Chateaubriand? As in the French author? Or does it have another meaning?

I've never read any of his works, but I'm a fan of his quote:

"You are not superior just because you see the world in an odious light."
-Vicomte de Chateaubriand

If you believe Larousse Gastronomique via Wikipedia, the steak was named for the author.

Food reviewers would do well to keep that quote in mind. :)

Y'all don't have much to worry about with that. If anything, you tend to be a tad lenient on the final grades. But I like that you seem to take into account the scale of the place and it's intended audience before affixing a grade. That JM would give both Johnny Delmonico's and Joey's an A- would normally give me fits, but I rather like your approach.

I went there on a date with my fiancee, and we both felt that it was overpriced for what we got - and they sat us next to another couple (who was rather akwardly fighting) in a reasonably uncrowded restaurant (very close to the other couple, like where one part of the seating is a bench and another is a chair, so you are almost at a four person table with the other couple). Also, we had three different waiters and their service was just ok.
We both agreed we'd been happier and paid less at a number of other places. Sure, the steak was good, but we felt nickel and dimed for all the other fixings. Maybe we were just TOO far away from our graduate student budget.

Expensive but great steaks!! T-Bone!

My one meal at Johnny Delmonico's was the single best steak I've ever had. The filet mignon was perfectly done, an exceptional cut that could nearly melt in your mouth. I was extremely satisfied with the entire dinner, even with the high price tag.

Though it's a tangent to the review, I just checked Delmonico's out as part of Restaurant Week and fairly disappointed. The food itself was good (the only standout was the scallops), but the portions were small enough that we went elsewhere afterward to supplement them.

I understand Restaurant Week is a tasting menu, but the portions were ridiculously small, and the bill still came out fairly high (with a glass of wine each, a higher bill than yours, but for only two people). Bit of a turn-off.

I went there with my husband and he loved his steak. However, I ordered the scallops, and there were only 3 of them on the plate! For $27, I would expect at least 4-5 scallops.

In other words, if you don't get steak, you may get ripped off.

Isthmus gave this place a terrible review back in 2005. Ever since then I have purposely avoided this place. Your review to me just redeemed them...I guess I gotta get over there!

Johnny Delmonicos. . . two words. . .NEVER AGAIN! They left A LOT to be desired and I have visited many fine dining restaurants in Madison. Service was TERRIBLE!! Even the food was just mediocre! I am one to give a second chance to service, being a past server, but the food was not up to par at all. Calamari was over cooked, steaks were not cooked right and an unbelievable wait, on a Monday. I felt like I was at cheap chain restaurant. . . . Never again will I go to Johnny Delmonics!!

Visited 04/26/11
Ordered:
blue crab cake
asian fried calamari
6 oz petite tenderloin
10 oz NY strip
16 oz ribeye
one glass of wine ($8.00)
one beer
Total bill $170.00 plus tip
Appetizers - very mediocre quality, badly prepared food by unqualified cook. Believe me Asians would rather starve then eat those calamari.
Steaks - all three steaks were overdone, dry and tasteless. NY strip was served burnt and not edible at all.
100% complete cheat. Wasted money and ruined our family special occasion dinner. Never ever again!

this place is typical madison fare..waaaaay
overpriced, average food and lousy service.
UW waitstaff person didnt even know how to pour wine or service the bottle..avoid this place like the plague

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