From humble beginnings to around the world! This is a brief history of the steakhouse and how it grew in popularity. Read on to learn some new facts surrounding your favourite dining destination!
The steakhouse restaurant as we know it today has come a long way in 400 years of existence but precious little has changed. The first chophouse, their name at the time, started in London just before the year 1700. Interestingly, the first chophouses catered exclusively to men and served meat chops of various types.
In fact, women were first allowed in chophouses in England in 1921, more than 200 years after the opening of the first chophouse. Up until the late 19th century, the traditional serving of meat at chophouses remained unchanged. However, mainland Europe had begun experimenting with new ways of cooking and they were starting to catch on.
Steakhouses in the US trace their origins back to the 19th century where two types of restaurants came into play. Both types of steakhouses originated in New York due to the simple fact that only people in this city afforded to eat meat at the time.
The beefsteak banquets were held and attended by men only and served as political fundraisers or celebratory feasts. During these gatherings, the men ate beef almost exclusively, hence the name. The side dish was bread which, however, the men did not eat eat in favour of beef and beer. Instead, attendees used bread slices to keep score of the amount of beef slices they had eaten!
The other type of steakhouse that existed in the US was the chophouse. Over time, the chophouse transformed into the steakhouse; offering a more civilized and down to earth environment. These restaurants catered for women, had gracious and accommodating waitstaff while offering a choice between steaks and chops. The chophouse’s main clients were clerks and merchants in search of a hot and filling meal.
As the restaurants evolved, some things remained the same. Even nowadays, one can always find a potato-based side with their steak and a nice, delicious piece of pie or dessert to conclude the meal.
A more modern addition to the steakhouse experience is the extensive wine list that forms part of the menu today. This tradition traces its roots to the 1980s where wine was introduced to appease Wall Street moguls.
Click here to reserve a table in one of our restaurants in Valletta or St. Julian’s. You can also call 2123 7222 (Valletta) or 2133 1310 (St. Julian’s). Come, dine and enjoy high quality steak at your favourite steakhouse!