by Ross G. on
Exceptional experience at Le Club. I had to make last minute reservations here on a Saturday because Frisson closed the day before (grr), so my expectations were pretty low. Walking into the door of the apartment building where this place is located they fell even lower; what kind of bar/lounge/restaurant is this? I walk in, it's around 7:30 and I am the only person in the entrance. A guy with a French accent shows up and assures me I am where I'm supposed to be (very Zen). I turn into the bar and sit down, I am alone. The bartender shows up, a young guy who seems to know his drinks. In no mood to screw around I get a martini; Hendricks, twist of lemon, up. It. Is. Phenomenal. Having not eaten anything other than samples at the farmers market in the morning, I get a little buzzed and start perking up. I look at the wine list and see that they have Cain Cuvee, which I had tried the week before at Rouge et Blanc and thought was great. Sticking with the martini. The bar starts picking up at around 8, and my date arrives. We sat at the bar and she had the Caine on my recommendation. We moved to one of the smaller candlelit tables, and I had another martini. Things at this point smooth out, there are no jagged edges, and I swim along between tables, guys in striped shirts and women in summer dresses. The matre de leads me to what looks like a den, there are chess tables and what may have been a fireplace, do not trust me though, my memory was focused on the world at large and not the details. I am then shown another room, this one with dark curtains and a pool table. I veto both and demand dinner. We are led to the dining room; we sit at a table at a 90 degree angle, perfect. The menu comes; I already know what I want: escargot and a steak. My date is sipping her wine; understandable as it is still early and she has plans, I do not; I can get drunk and order a glass of wine for myself. The escargot arrives and I am thrown for the proverbial loop as they are not in the little dimpled dish, drowning in lemon butter as I was expecting. As a result they are tough but more flavorful, a tasty diversion from the excellent wine. The steak: perfectly medium rare, shared with my companion the portion was just big enough. Service was impeccable, meaning of course that they mostly left us alone while we were eating and talking and were quick with taking/returning the check. All in all, my experience might have been somewhat polished by 1) the alcohol and 2) my companion. I would however still strongly recommend this place as it is very much my speed; a little hidden out of the way lounge with great food/drinks, and by the time we were leaving it was absolutely packed. So go here, but not too early.