Taking a stroll down by the Theater District and Time Square is not only the ultimate touristic treat, but a sector of Manhattan worth digging into for the next big thing—whether it be a restaurant, Broadway shows, museums, gift shops, and more. Midtown is changing, and we at Hobnob like to stay on the cutting edge of New York City’s environs. With this in mind, we had the pleasure of stopping by the legendary Lambs Club, a dining establishment located inside the elegant Chatwal Hotel, which is considered to be one of New York’s classics. 

The experience was out of this world, as we received a first look of the Lambs Club new owners. New York-bred Chef Jack Logue has partnered with former nightlife mogul and restaurateur David Rabin and prominent beverage director Chris Miller to revitalize this historic space to provide elevated and fun takes on American classics through a New York lens, guided by intentional service and hospitality in a pristine setting.

Once you set foot into The Lambs Club, you get a sense of old New York, as the 85-seat dining room is adorned with sumptuous red leather banquettes and accented by an 18th-century French limestone fireplace. Patrons can also enjoy the club’s extensive global wine list and carefully curated cocktail menu in the upstairs bar or lounge.

History of the Lambs Club

The history of The Lambs Club can be traced back to the late 19th century. In 1887, a group of actors, playwrights, and journalists decided to form a club where they could socialize and network. They called their club the Lambs Club after the Lambs Club of London, which was a similar organization for actors and writers.

Originally, The Lambs Club was located at 147 West 35th Street in New York City. The club’s first president was actor John Drew. Other early members included playwright William Gillette, actor Edwin Booth, and journalist Charles Dana Gibson. The club rapidly became a popular gathering place for celebrities and other members of the arts community and was known for its elegant dining room and its lively atmosphere. The Lambs Club also hosted a variety of events, including theatrical performances, lectures, and parties.

In 1904, the club was then moved to its current location at 120 West 44th Street. The new club was designed by architect Stanford White. The building was considered to be a lavish affair, as it contained a grand ballroom, a library, and a billiard room. The club continued to thrive in the early 20th century. Its membership included some of the most famous names in American entertainment, including actors Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and Mary Pickford. In addition, a variety of important events, including the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929 were hosted at the Lambs Club.

The Dining Experience

Now that we’ve provided some fun brief history on The Lambs Club, let’s talk about the dining experience, which was indeed superb. We started our evening breaking bread. This wasn’t your typical loaf, as we were presented with an Everything Bagel Spiced Parker House Roll with smoked crème fraiche butter. This roll was savory yet scrumptious as the “everything” seasoning leveled up this traditional buttery dinner roll to another degree. The whipped crème fraiche butter made the Everything Bagel Spiced Parker House Roll even tastier since the spread resembled a creamy cultured butter.

After we ate our rolls, Chef Logue sent out Citrus Marinated Diver Scallops topped with Yuzu Kosho and preserved lemon and Mussels Escabeche topped with cilantro and a jalapeno slice. These Citrus Marinated Diver Scallops tasted just like a mouthwatering ceviche, as Yuzu Kosho is a fresh, herby Japanese sweet and spicy relish that gave the scallops a refreshing taste with a kick. The meaty mussels were marinated with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, and spice, which were super juicy with a fiery kick.

We then ordered the Baked Shellfish Platter, which featured baked oysters with a bonito butter crust, gratinated mussels containing parmesan and sungold tomato sauce, and razor clams casino with smoked onion bread crumbs. You can’t go wrong with a baked shellfish platter, as each piece of shellfish was very rich in flavor and brought a sense of comfort to our palettes due to the gratins, crusts, and bread crumbs utilized in every one of them.

Following the Baked Shellfish Platter, we tried an out-of-this-world Wild Mushroom Soup. The soup base is made from champignon, baby bella, and cremini mushrooms, sauteed with shallots, garlic, and thyme, and deglazed with brandy and a touch of cream. All of these ingredients are blended with a mushroom dashi. Before the warm soup is poured, you’ll find pine nut mushroom duxelles, pickled hon shimeji mushrooms, a parmesan crisp, whipped lemon crème fraiche, and porcini mushroom powder on the plate. 

Once we supped the creamy Wild Mushroom Soup, we ordered a medium rare Porterhouse House Steak which arrived with three sauces on the side: charred scallion salsa verde, peppercorn sauce, bearnaise sauce, and whipped horseradish cream with pink peppercorns. The charred scallion salsa tasted just like a fresh chimichurri sauce when drizzling on top of the steak, which was indeed my favorite, as I do the same when eating an Argentine Parrillada, since it’s a dish consisting of a variety of meats with a side of chimichurri sauce. My second favorite was the bearnaise sauce, as it tasted similar to a hollandaise sauce and gave the steak that steak eggs benedict vibe, minus the English muffin and the poached eggs. 

We also had Creamed Spinach, the Tavern Mac N Cheese, and a Loaded Potato Casserole alongside our steak. The creamed spinach contains shallots, garlic, and spinach. These three ingredients are sauteed in olive oil until wilted. The spinach is then chilled over ice to lock in the leafy green color and flavor. Once chilled, the spinach is hand chopped and is separately made into a green spinach puree. Lastly, a mornay sauce is made with basic bechamel sauce and folded in gruyere and parmesan cheeses. These three basic components are combined in this exact order, in addition to sprinkling in some more parmesan and gratin to make a delicious, creamy, cheesy, ultra-green creamed spinach.

The Tavern Mac N Cheese was not your typical mac n cheese as this popular dinner staple consists of calamarata pasta and a cheese sauce made out of milk, cheddar, mascarpone, and parmesan cheeses. The calamarata pasta is a traditional Neapolitan pasta shape, as it resembles calamari or squid rings…hence, the pasta’s name. Once the pasta is cooked and folded into the sauce, it is topped with juicy braised ox cheek, roasted mixed mushrooms (king oyster, maitake, shitake), and topped with lots of shaved 18-month-aged parmigiano reggiano cheese. 

Of course, you can’t forget to sip on cocktails throughout a delectable dinner spread like this one. The cocktail of my choice was The Hemingway Daiquiri, as I felt it was ideal for me to have a classic like this one named after one of the greatest writers of all time. This classic cocktail was taken to another level as homemade grapefruit cordial was utilized instead of grapefruit juice. The grapefruit cordial was made by performing the sous vide technique, which allowed very delicate grapefruit flavors to be extracted. Since the cordial flavor intensity is very high, a rum Zacapa 23 was introduced in this cocktail rather than the typically used white rum. Other ingredients included in the Hemingway Daiquiri are fresh lime juice and a  Luxardo Cherry Liqueur.

My guest, who is a chic fashion editorial stylist, had an on-trend Negroni, which happens to be the most popular aperitif style cocktail in the world. At The Lambs Club, a modern American touch was incorporated into the Negroni by aging the cocktail in-house for 15 days in a nine-liter barrel, which is crafted by Michter’s Distillery. This Negroni had a bitter-sweet flavor, which gained more complexity from the time spent in the barrel, with some delicate notes of vanilla and baking spices. 

Last but not least, we ordered two desserts for our sweet ending at the Lambs Club. The desserts were a Caramel Apple and a Cracker Jack Sundae. The Caramel Apple wasn’t the cliche sweet treat you find at the local carnival, but a rather smaller-sized apple containing ingredients such as mascarpone creme, apple cider, Valrhona Caramelia milk chocolate, oats, and hazelnuts. The dish consists of a caramelized apple filling, surrounded by a mascarpone crème and oat cake. It is then coated in a green-white chocolate shell, dusted lightly with gold dust to resemble a real apple, and then dipped in Valrhona Caramelia milk chocolate, followed by being tossed in chopped hazelnuts. This dessert is finished with an oat crumble and a white chocolate stick to replicate a caramel apple.

The Cracker Jack Sundae took me back to watching Mets games when Citi Field was known as Shea Stadium. This sundae consisted of homemade popcorn ice cream topped with caramelized peanuts, a milk chocolate chip cookie, and drizzled with silky Chantilly cream. This sundae epitomized the true essence of a sweet and salty treat. 

Overall, The Lambs Club is the perfect spot to dine in, whether it be for breakfast with the family, a casual business lunch with a client, or dinner before a Broadway show.

For more info on the Lambs Club, follow them over on Instagram @thelambsclub.

The Lambs Club, 132 West 44th Street (betw 6th/7th Avenue)