If you’re still not over all of the emotional news of Brangelina, now Brad and Angelina, book yourself a table at Chef’s Club by Food and Wine because it will make you forget that sometimes LOVE DIES. Just kidding, it’s not that kind of post but back on the topic of Chef’s Club… I now rank it as one of the Top Five restaurants on my New York Gotta Eat List and if you want to see what true love TASTES like you have to make a reservation.
I originally heard about Chef’s Club after a coworker mentioned the amazing experience he had. I normally jot these recommendations down in my head somewhere only to forget about it in a week but because my significant other and I were celebrating our five year anniversary in the coming week, I was really pressed to find a place that fit who we are and what we like. For a little bit of context, my S.O. is the type of guy who wants to be full after a meal. He doesn’t want to pay $3o to use a knife and fork to cut up the crumb on his plate. I, on the other hand, will pay if that crumb is mind blowingly good. I may grumble about it after I pay the check but still! If it’s mind blowingly good and is seared into my brain for my life, I will most likely write about it here. BUT the thing about Chef’s Club that makes it stand out from the rest is that it melds all the great reasons why us foodies go to restaurants, so it really is an ideal pick for anyone AND it will make you full. Also, I’m a huge fan of anything that Food & Wine sponsors or does because every single event that I’ve attended and every single up and coming chef they’ve recommended has put out dishes that have been nothing less than astounding.
There are a couple of reasons why Chef’s Club is great. For the lazy, like myself, I’ve jotted reasons why here:
- It’s an open kitchen layout. We were seated right smack dab in front of the chefs so we saw the entire process from cooking to plating to expediting. Protip: If you want to feel special, make a note when you’re reserving to sit in these spots but heads up, it’s only a four seater!
2. Servers are attentive. I think the worst worst possible experience you can have in a fine dining establishment is getting a waiter/waitress who really couldn’t care less about you until you pay the check. Not here. Also, they are super super knowledgeable about where everything was sourced from so there was no, “Let me get back to you on that”.
3. They cared. There are times where I’ll go to a restaurant, make a reservation, jot down the occasion in the box if it asks, and get nothing. There’s no remark from anyone about “Congrats on ____”– not that restaurants have to care about every single occasion that happens in the lives of the hundreds or so people who enter every day but it really makes the restaurants who acknowledge all the more better. I now adore Chef’s Club for caring because it was a welcome surprise that neither of us were expecting. We had asked for the check after our delightful meal and were a little surprised when they brought out the knife and fork. After a bit of eyebrow raising and, “Maybe they didn’t hear us”, we were greeted by a warm “Congratulations you two on the anniversary” from our waitress and an amazing chocolate cake.
4. Finally, the food is to die for. There are very few restaurants that I can say are just all around jaw droppingly good . I’m not the kind of foodie that says, “That’s awesome” “That’s awesome” and “That’s awesome.” I am the foodie that says, “This restaurants service was sub par”, “That restaurant has horrible food”, and “That restaurant doesn’t taste their food before they plate it” because I don’t believe anyone should take advice from someone who places five stars on every single restaurant they’ve been to. I guess you can classify me as a real-life Gordon Ramsay with black hair and in an Asian woman’s body.
PRAWN TOAST X OKONOMIYAKI | Chef Jowett Yu
Another additional pro is that the dishes they feature on their menu are created by up and coming chefs (all of them have a bio in the back of the menu if you’re curious). For a little bit of Asian flair, we ordered the Prawn Toast X Okonomiyaki. It was perfectly crisp on the outside with the delicious layer of shrimp drizzled with tasty Kewpie Mayo and bull-dog sauce.
CRISPY COMTÉ CHURROS
Our waitress recommended this side after we asked for her recommendation based off of what we ordered for our dishes on what would pair well. It’s going to surprise you what I’m going to say next. These are made from potatoes and like the Prawn toast, they are perfectly crispy on the outside and as you bite, you will get this warm, amazing bite of what tastes like cheesy mashed potatoes.
“LE PIGEON” | GABRIEL RUCKER
While New York has a very diverse group of people with all very different opinions, there is one thing that most of us can agree upon, we all hate pigeons. While some may gawk at the idea of eating one, the adventurous, I promise, won’t even blink an eye at eating one. You can guess which camp I lie in. As the waitress stated, this is 28 day old squab. If all pigeons tasted the way that Gabriel Rucker presented, I would most likely be spending tonight sharpening my pencils aka pigeon spears and making my way to Prospect Park. While eating, I completely forgot that I was feasting on the grey and white beast that lurks on each free space that New York has to offer. It was juicy, tender, and oozing with all kinds of surprises. On top of that, being able to skim it over the driblets of brown chicken liver mustard opened me up to a magical food paradise that I have never once experienced before.
I can honestly say, if there’s a membership to this club, I want to be the first one in line.