The John Lamb Lands on New York City’s Lower East Side

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This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it underground enclave tucked away on Allen Street has something for everyone

The interior of the John Lamb stretches from Allen to Orchard streets.

Walk too quickly and you’ll easily pass right by The John Lamb, a New American restaurant that recently opened on New York City’s Lower East Side inside the boutique Sago Hotel.

Owner Joseph Valentine, formerly of Firebird Restaurant and Caviar Bar, has situated himself and his staff in an underground enclave full of many twists and turns located around the main dining room and bar.

When conceptualizing dishes such as seared scallops, ricotta gnocchi, and Southern-style fried chicken, executive chef James Asaro drew influence from “Colonial times and the immigrants who first inhabited the nearby tenements.”

Menu highlights from the Culinary Institute of America graduate also include deviled eggs, an incredibly unique and tasty Kung Pao fried calamari, and a selection of sausages sourced from local favorite Schaller & Weber, prepared in a variety of ways — the Irish Bangers come with hash browns and sautéed onions while the Saucisse Bretonne is served atop caramelized apples and Vermont blue cheese.

The John Lamb

Courtesy of the John Lamb

Saucisse Bretonne at the John Lamb

The restaurant stretches from Allen to Orchard streets, with a bar beneath a giant window on the Orchard Street side. Curious passersby often peer inside to check out the scene, which is either really cool or kind of creepy depending on how you look at it. The dining room itself features antique-style wallpaper, exposed brick, and dramatic circular chandeliers that flank tufted faux-leather banquettes at wood-topped tables.

The cocktail program, developed by Mikey Belasco, previously of The Gilroy and The Grey Lady, includes 10 artisanal cocktails with house-made juices, syrups, oils, and tinctures.

The spot is also ideal for communal dining of groups of eight or fewer, as The John Lamb offers a custom-designed dinner that can include a whole hog, whole or rack of lamb, duck, salmon, turkey, and more, depending on season and availability. Just make sure you reserve that by special order 48 hours in advance — and that you don’t mind wayward Orchard Street pedestrians looking in on all the fun.

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