For New Years’ Eve, I had the opportunity to head down to New York City and experience the city for the first time. Now, the trip was relatively short and with that, the opportunity to make a serious dent into my NY culinary wish list pretty slight. We had to pick and choose a few selected spots to try while there. The big dinner of the trip took place at the Lambs Club, located just off Times Square at Broadway and 44th street in the Chatwal hotel.
The draw for me to the Lambs Club was that it is run by Geofrrey Zakarian. If you watch any amount of the Food Network, Zakarian is a chef you have seen. He is one of the more recent Iron Chef winners and a chef whose style of cuisine really appealed to me. It is described as modern American and I think that it the right way to characterize it. This was definitely a meal I was looking forward to.
The restaurant is, according to the website, a 90 seat space but honestly it feels a lot smaller than that. The room has an amazing Art Deco look with red banquets, dark panel walls, beautiful standing lamps and a fireplace with black and white head shots of famous people from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s all around the room. Add to that amazing jazz and crooner music as well as some low lights and it makes for a nice sophisticated and intimate experience. And I haven’t even talked about the food yet.
The dinner service is a fixed price 3 course meal with options of additional sides for a price. Prior to your selection, you receive a small amuse-gueule – a marinated cherry tomato. Nice and sweet, a good way to start the meal. Add to that my drink of choice for the evening – a gold rush cocktail (12 yr old bourbon, honey syrup and lemon juice) and we have a good beginning.
As a starter, I selected the Spanish Octopus a la Plancha with squid ink pain perdu, spiced short rib and black garlic. The octopus was perfectly prepared with none of the chewiness that you fear to get. The short rib was nice and flavorful and the pain perdu was quite good – the squid ink didn’t overpower the rest of the dish which can be a concern.
As a main, I went with the Long Island Duck Breast with turnips, figs, huckleberries and coffee molé. Don’t the chance too enough to eat some duck so I jumped on the opportunity. The duck breast was perfect – the crispy exterior without the meat being dried out. The figs and huckleberries added a nice sweetness to the dish. Very well done.
For dessert, the Chestnut Opera cake grabbed my eye. Nice, sweet and light cake to finish off the meal. The candied chestnuts provided a nice spiced element to the dish.
The Lambs Club was a great experience and a wonderful to start my time in New York. The entire experience, from the food to the decor to the wait staff, was top notch and worthy of your consideration next time you visit NY. It may cost you a good penny but will be worth your while.
The Lambs Club
132 West 44th Street
New York, NY
212 997 5262