Lobster Newburg is an American seafood dish made from lobster, butter, cream, cognac, sherry, eggs and Cayenne pepper. The dish was invented by Ben Wenberg, a sea captain in the fruit trade. He demonstrated the dish at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City to the manager, Charles Delmonico, in 1876. After refinements by the chef, Charles Ranhofer, the creation was added to the restaurant’s menu as Lobster à la Wenberg and it soon became very popular.
An argument between Wenberg and Charles Delmonico caused the dish to be removed from the menu. To satisfy patrons’ continued requests for it, the name was rendered in anagram Lobster à la Newburg or Lobster Newburg. It is still quite popular and is found in French cookbooks, where it is sometimes referred to as “Homard sauté à la crème.” When Ranhofer’s printed recipe first appeared in 1894, the lobsters were boiled fully twenty-five minutes, then fried in clarified butter, then simmered in cream while it reduced by half, then brought again to the boil after the addition of the Madeira.
Lobster Newburg is related to Lobster Thermidor, a similar dish that involves lobster meat cooked with eggs, cognac and sherry.