A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 12, 2004
Steak Diane
Steak Diane is a tableside-flambéed dish. The steak is cut thin and often brandy or Madeira is poured over it, as well as a sauce of such ingredients as butter, mushrooms, mustard, shallots, cream, truffles and meat stock.

According to a 1948 citation, the dish was invented at the Drake Room, at 56th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan's Drake Hotel, and was named after chef Beniamino Schiavon's small daughter.

Wikipedia: Steak Diane
Steak Diane is an American dish of a pan-fried beefsteak with a sauce made from the seasoned pan juices, generally prepared in restaurants tableside, and flambéed. It was popular in the middle of the 20th century, and became considered dated by 1980.

"Steak Diane" does not appear in the classics of French cuisine, and was probably invented in mid-20th century New York as part of the fad for tableside-flambéed dishes. The name 'Diane', the Roman goddess of the hunt, has been used for various game-related foods, but the "Venison Steak Diane" attested in 1914, although it is sautéed and flambéed, is sauced and garnished with fruits, unlike later steak Diane recipes, so it is unclear if there is a connection.

By the 1940's, Steak Diane was a common item on the menus of restaurants popular with Café Society, including the restaurants at the Drake and Sherry-Netherland hotels and The Colony. It is often attributed to Chef Beniamino Schiavon 'Nino of the Drake'.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
steak Diane n. /ˌsteɪk dʌɪˈan/ a dish consisting of thin slices of beefsteak fried with seasonings, esp. Worcestershire sauce.
1957 Gourmet Cookbk. II. 270 (heading) Steak Diane.

10 January 1948, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, "If You Can Afford a $5 Steak, The Drake Has One by Nino" by Clementine Paddleford, pg. 11, col. 6:
If you can afford $5 for dinner a beautiful way to please the inner man is to dine in the Drake Room of the Drake Hotel at Park Avenue and Fifty-sixth Street.
STEAK ARTIST -- Watch Nino do the steak Diane. Up rolls his chafing dish table set with the needed ingredients, a cool pat of sweet butter, olive oil, English mustard, finely cut chives, a shaker of salt, a mill holding black pepper and two large but thinly cut steaks. Into the chafing dish goes butter to froth, then one-half teaspoon of English mustard is added for each steak and one-half teaspoon of chives. Stir and the butter froths again. Quickly now, the steak gets a light dust of salt, a few turns from the pepper mill, a few drops of olive oil, this massaged over with the back of a spoon, then the steak is laid into the pan, seasoned side down. Now the top side gets the oil treatment. The meat is laved well with the sauce again and again, twice it is turned. Toward the finish one teaspoon of Worcestershire is stirred in, more chives added and the juice of one-fourth lemon squeezed over. The smell from that pan! Talk of rolling your eyes; it's a job to keep them in focus.

1 October 1948, Washington (DC) Post, "Gotham's Famed Chefs Cook for Food Editors; Food Editors Dine on Gay Nineties Fare" by Lucia Brown, pg. 5C, col. 2:
EARLIER in the week, a smaller group of us was entertained at a gourmet dinner hosted by a baby food company in the Drake Room on 56th st. at Park ave. This is a spot that has become famous among New Yorkers for its buffet luncheons, as well as for such dishes as steak Diane. This was made for us by Nino, the maitre d'hotel, who created the dish and named it for his small daughter.

8 October 1948, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, "Top Chefs Reveal Recipes" by Virginia Cheney, pg. 31, col. 1:
Steak Diane
sweet butter
olive oil
English mustard
finely cut chives
freshly ground black pepper
large sirloin steak; one inch thick before pounding
lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce

For two or three generous servings, start with two large (12 to 14 ounce) sirloin steaks, cut one-inch thick. Pound with a cleaver until very thin, about one-fourth inch.

Melt sweet butter generously in pan, adding good sprinkling of chives and half teaspoon mustard. Stir with fork to make sauce and keep chives from burning. Rub one side of steak well with oil and sprinkle the oiled side with salt and freshly ground black pepper. When sauce is delicately browned and bubbling, place steaks in it, oiled side down.

While cooking, give top the same oiled treatment, adding seasoning of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook only 2-1/2 to three minutes on each side. (Nino usually turns each piece twice to be sure of even cooking.) Meat must be
(Pg. 33, col. 4 -- ed.)
basted almost continually while cooking and more oil must be smoothed into the steak with a spoon.

Steak should be served rare and lifted directly from pan to hot serving plates.

To the pan sauce Nino adds about one teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (depending upon quantity) and a few drops of fresh lemon juice. These are blended quickly together with fork, sometimes more butter is added if required for sufficient sauce. Pour over steak while bubbling.

Note: Nino says that chives burn easily so keep heat low.

4 April 1949, Evening Herald (Shenandoah, PA), "Voice of Broadway" by Dorothy Kilgallen, pg. 4, col. 7:
Tops In Town: (...) Steak Diane as whipped up by the peerless Nino at the Drake Room.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, July 12, 2004 • Permalink