10 February 2010

Recipes of the Lost City: Gage & Tollner's Crabmeat a la Dewey

Crabmeat Dewey or Crabmeat a la Dewey was, according to Barry Popik, a specialty of two New York City restaurants—Brooklyn's singular Gage & Tollner and the Longchamps chain. The dish was on Gage & Tollner's menu as far back as 1903, and was probably named after Admiral Dewey. It's not known who invented the dish.

It's a rich dinner, with crab meat in a cream sauce, with green peppers and often mushrooms, and not a cheap or easy one to make, that's for sure. But it certainly sounds delicious.

Crab Meat a la Dewey 
3 Tbsp butter or margarine 
3 Tbsp flour 
2 cups hot milk 
salt (to taste) 
Pepper (to taste) 
1 small green pepper, parboiled and cut in 1/4—inch dice 
1 pimiento, canned, cut into 1/4 inch dice 
1 1/4 pounds crab meat, canned or fresh, well drained—and picked over 
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated 
1/4 cup bread crumbs 
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Gradually stir in the hot milk. Cook and stir until the mixture is thickened, or to the consistency of a medium cream sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the green pepper, pimiento and crab meat. Spoon into individual ramekins. 
Mix cheddar cheese with the bread crumbs and sprinkle over the ramekins. 
To cook, bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese melts.


Melanie said...

Having been to Gage & Tollners with my Mother for lunch, I rmember the menu quite well. Crabmeat a la dewey was right there--my Dad liked this but my Mom and I were sort of purists and went for the fried filet of sole which was great. This restaurant brings back fond memories for me and my family. After graduating from 6th grade at Berkeley Institute (now Berkeley Carroll) my Grandmother took us out for lunch at Gage & Tollners. It was a great celebration especially with my friend Susan Breen and her parents at the next table. We had fun!!

Sean said...

I'm not really much for seafood of any kind, but that does sound pretty good.

atdcom said...

Gage and Tollner..Iremember the crab a la Dewey but I always chose the broiled clam bellies and the potatoes au gratin at every family celebration.The restaurant was held in such regard by my mother that we would take the IRT subway from 23rd street to Boro Hall on special occasions.It was what the Waverly aspires to be. I can see the gaslights. What a memorable place. Thank you, Brooks.

Unknown said...

According to this 1956 review of Gage and Tollner, the Dewey brothers were running the restaurant at the time and probably had more to do with the name Crab Dewey: