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Eat and Drink

Delmonico's celebrates its 180th anniversary

Delmonico's went all-out for its 180th birthday on Wednesday night.

The landmarked Financial District restaurant at 56 Beaver St. -- which claims to be the first American eatery to serve farm-to-table cuisine, issue a cookbook, use tablecloths and admit women dining without male companions -- threw a lavish party transporting guests to the Gilded Age opulence of 1837, its opening year.

The festivities featured commemorative cigars and tableware and a buffet of classic Delmonico's dishes reinterpreted by celebrity chefs like Thomas Keller, Danny Meyer and Lidia Bastianich. But our favorite touch was this: A production by Chéz-zam Events that dispatched costumed 18th-century era performers and props among the very upper crust of New York society.

Enjoy the whimsy below:

This 1800s-style market vendor tended to a cart
Photo Credit: DenisLEON & Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

This 1800s-style market vendor tended to a cart stocked with bread and fresh produce, a nod to the fruits and vegetables the Delmonico brothers grew on their Williamsburg farm.

Guests had the opportunity to pose with this
Photo Credit: DenisLEON & Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

Guests had the opportunity to pose with this working penny-farthing bike, a relic of the late Victorian era.

We give props to the costumer who matched
Photo Credit: DenisLEON&Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

We give props to the costumer who matched to a tee the wig and dress of this 1800s street vendor.

This newsie was really selling his paper.
Photo Credit: DenisLEON & Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

This newsie was really selling his paper.

Charles Ranhofer, Delmonico's executive chef from the 1860s
Photo Credit: DenisLEON & Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

Charles Ranhofer, Delmonico's executive chef from the 1860s to '90s, made an "appearance." He's pictured here drafting new recipes for the 1894 cookbook The Epicurean, in which he assembled classic Delmonico's dishes like eggs Benedict.

Satirist Mark Twain (his impersonator pictured on the
Photo Credit: DenisLEON & Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

Satirist Mark Twain (his impersonator pictured on the right) took photos with admiring fans. The "Huckleberry Finn" author often dined at Delmonico's, even hosting his 70th birthday at the restaurant.

Photo Credit: DenisLEON & Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

"Diamond" Jim Brady (pictured right) -- an American businessman of the Gilded Age -- was known for his taste for flashy jewelry and boundless appetite. He often ordered seafood at Delmonico's.

Accounts say that President Abraham Lincoln loved Delmonico's
Photo Credit: Denis LEON & Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

Accounts say that President Abraham Lincoln loved Delmonico's potatoes, which were, in his time, mashed and covered in cheese and breadcrumbs. Lincoln's impersonator DJed a few songs at the restaurant's 180th anniversary party.

Actors changed their costumes as the evening progressed,
Photo Credit: DenisLEON & Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

Actors changed their costumes as the evening progressed, advancing from 19th to 20th century attire.

A Vaudevillian performer spun plates at the intersection
Photo Credit: DenisLEON & Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS

A Vaudevillian performer spun plates at the intersection of William and Beaver streets.

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