11/14/2012 10:37:00 AM

First Bite: Arlington Club, Debuting on the UES This Week

When star chef Laurent Tourondel, the man behind recently opened LT Burger, joins forces with the Tao team, that formidable group driving Tao, Lavo and Marble Lane, the place is sure to be a show stopper. A series of friends and family dinners warmed up the kitchen and staff prior to Thursday’s opening event. Unlike the glam tastings some high profile restaurants kick off with, these nights were truly shake-downs for relatives, employees and long time associates.

The Room:

Inspired by the original Penn Station, the bi-level dining room has soaring arched ceilings made of bricks in a variety of earth tones, and a giant clock. Black and white retro photos from as far back as El Morocco line the walls, and a massive wine wall displays highlights from the 450 bottle list.


The Food:

The Tao boys let Tourondel do what he does best: creative steakhouse fare. Meats include bone-in filet mignon, Porterhouse and cote de boeuf, along with a selection of eight sauces and fifteen sides including Dirty French Fries, Grilled Radicchio with Stilton and balsamic and Green Spinach Fondue with fontina and nutmeg. Fish options like Papilotte of Black Bass with shiitake coconut-lime broth and Dover Sole are also on the menu, as are innovative sushi choices and raw bar offerings. Entrée prices range from $32 to $55.

Drinks:

Apart from the impressive wine list, drinks include the “Arlington Club” made with Woodford Reserve bourbon, Campari and bitters, “Careless Whisper’’ with Grey Goose limon vodka. Grapefruit, elderflower and cranberry, and “Sage Advice’’, a shaken mix of Glenmorangie 10 year old scotch, Cointreau, grapes and sage.

Crowd:

Expect the nightlife loving Tao following, foodies following Tourondel and Upper East Side neighbors, eager for local action. The real question will be if he can pack the large room in an area of town that's not really known for it's nightlife. If the hordes that roll into Lavo every night are any indication, this shouldn't be a problem, even though it is further uptown.

The Details: 1032 Lexington Ave.; 212-249-5700

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