Above: Dinner at Arlington Club opened with spare rib bánh mì and sashimi.
There’s been so much going on that I still haven’t had a chance to post about all the places I visited on my February visit to NYC.
Another one of the highlights of my trip was dinner at the city’s newest entry in the dick-wagging steakhouse category, Arlington Club on the Upper East Side, Laurent Tourondel’s most recent oeuvre.
Above: The still young 2011 Clos du Bourg by Huet showed nicely, although a little tight.
I could never have dreamed of getting a reservation at this immensely popular restaurant (when I arrived at 8 p.m. there was a three-person-deep wait at the bar). But I had the good fortune of being the guest of one of the top wine writers in the world, who has a little more pull than most. Let’s just say that his reservation streamlined our experience on an otherwise impossibly packed night.
Above: I love the New York steakhouse paradigm and just had to have the Caesar salad. It was solid but not exceptional. But that’s what a Caesar salad should be, n’est-ce pas?
The wine list was predictably Bordeaux- and Northern California-heavy. But there were also some interesting Italian entries beyond the healthy however youngish selection of Nebbiolo and Sangiovese lots. We went for an older Bordeaux but the 2006 Refosco by Ronchi di Cialla for $85 was inviting (I imagine its juiciness would have worked well with the steak).
Above: The porterhouse for two, the ultimate expression — in my view — of the NYC steakhouse paradigm. I liked the panache of the mise en place.
My generous host was intent on drinking something with some age on it (and I wasn’t complaining).
He chose the Château Langoa-Barton 1998, which showed beautifully, especially as it opened up. I love drinking traditional-style Bordeaux when it’s in its prime like this (at more than fourteen years out), its acidity singing and its fruit vibrantly muscular. I know that some would prefer it with even more age (and I imagine that this bottling has many rewarding years ahead of it). But these wines, when vinified in the traditional style, pair so well with charred beef when adolescent.
Above: If I remember correctly, the alcohol on this wine was reported as 12.5%. Now THAT’s my kind of Bordeaux! Gorgeous wine and a real treat for me to get to taste.
Laurent was at the restaurant that night and it was great to receive the royal treatment as the guest of such an illustrious dinner companion.
In my experience, New York is the only U.S. city that rivals London and Paris in the field of competitive, see-and-be-seen dining. And that cold, misty night on the East Side was one for the books. I’ll never forget tumbling back into anonymity as I hailed a cab on Lexington, my belly full and my spirit fortified.
Thanks again, fabu friend, for such a superb evening!