Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse
2950 Erie Blvd E
Syracuse, NY 13224
The menu had plenty that on another night might have appealed, but nothing spoke to me, and it was my last night in town. We ended up at Riley’s for dinner, but only after we acquired our quest item.
East Utica Greens.
I’d hoped my trip to Syracuse would include some local fare. I’d done my homework and figured that salt potatoes were the thing to try. As I found after a few quizzical, you-aren’t-from-around-here looks, salt potatoes are summer fare in Syracuse. So, if it was going to be something local, it had to be Utica Greens, a dish made with sauteed escarole, hot peppers, and prosciutto with a broiler toasted breadcrumb topping.
And the verdict? I dig it. It’s a definite upgrade from creamed spinach when it comes to a side at a steak house. The heat from the peppers showed up to the soiree immediately and definitely heightened the flavor. While there’s not quite enough protein in the dish to make it a meal on its own, there’s plenty of porky flavor in the dish to make it disappear off the plate. The $10 full order was generous enough that the two of us didn’t have room to finish it, but I’ll admit that I’ve had a moment or two of hankering since then. I think I smell a new Thanksgiving side dish.
Despite our unconventional greens-and-out meal, the wait staff couldn’t have been more friendly. When I quizzed our server about the unique decor and the provenance of the restaurant, she coughed up the information like a stoolie under a spotlight. I managed to leave my credit card and had to drive back 90 minutes later to retrieve it and they had carefully locked it in an office and asked me for ID before surrendering it, a step that put appreciation in a race with humiliation over the whole thing.