Immigrants to the U.S. in the 19th century were mostly of German, Irish, Scandinavian, and British descent. But in the earliest days of the 20th century, it was mostly Italians. Between 1900 and 1915, three million Italians immigrated to America, and with them, came the beautiful recipes of Italian cuisine as we know it today. Today, many Italian-American steakhouses like Ultima Cucina, are serving up classic dishes to newcomers and residents alike. In order to emphasize the elegance that is Italian cuisine, in today’s blog, we will discuss the Italian-American Steakhouse—How a clerical mistake led to an American staple. 

The Yearning For Food From The Motherland

With growing Italian communities in Lower Manhattan and the Near South Side of Chicago, there was a yearning amongst immigrants for the foods from their home turf. Italian restaurants likely opened initially to serve immigrants who knew the cuisine. Inexpensive and tasty spaghetti and pizza would soon come into fruition with a larger population. Purely subjective, but for many, Italian food has sat at the upper echelon of cuisine for many Americans and Italian natives. As a way of paying homage to the classic dishes, it would not be long before Americans found a way to blend elements of America into Italian dishes. In terms of where the roots and need for this food took off from in the states, we’re going to have to look back to 1926.

Opening An Italian Restaurant In America

In 1926, two Italian immigrants, Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi, wanted to open a restaurant that was named after their hometown of Parma. The registry office in New York misunderstood their pronunciation, and the place would accidentally be called “The Palm”. From its early days, the story goes that whenever a guest would order a steak, Bozzi or Ganzi would run out and buy one on the fly, to cook it up. Since customers kept asking for meat, steak would eventually become a staple on the menu. The current menu at this establishment includes Italianate appetizers like calamari fritte and clams oreganata, and then there is an entire classic side of the menu that includes dishes like chicken parm, linguini, clams, etc. The Palm served as a prototype for Italian-American steakhouses in both New York and Chicago. 

A Harmonious Relationship Between Italian Food And Steakhouses

In this day and age, you don’t need to look very far to see that Italian-Americans and steakhouses go together. Much like Ultima Cucina, others will also serve up traditional dishes alongside a great piece of American steak. No food pairing quite matches up to this level of harmony like this blend does. If you tried to pair steak with heartier, carb-loaded dishes from Scandinavian or English countries, it would simply not work. Whereas, pasta and sauce, pair beautifully with red meat. The red sauce provides bright acidity to cut through the fat of a good steak. Add some cheese, and you have upped the ante for your steak dinner.

Italian-American Steakhouses: Pay A Visit To Ultima Cucina

We hope you gained some valuable insight into the extraordinary history of Italian-American steakhouses. If you are interested in getting a taste of this elegant food, visit Ultima Cucina today!