Jue Lan Club
Bringing someone to lunch at the Jue Lan Club is an unintentionally show-offy move.
It’s one of those places that is completely off the grid to those who aren’t “in the know,” located somewhere within the church that once housed the infamous Limelight club and is now home to several trendy shops and an outpost of Grimaldi’s pizza.
Now you know, and you’re welcome.
Once you find the entrance, you’ll make your way through some twists and turns and land in a room decorated with lush velvets and bold colors. In-house curators Emerald and Adrian Gruin have created permanent and rotating exhibitions for the restaurant, comprised of works from artists such as Keith Haring, David Gamble, Chen Jiagang and Neke Carson.
At the helm of the kitchen is partner and Executive Chef Oscar Toro, who introduced one of the first Chinese raw bars in New York.
On weekdays, the fun starts at 11:30 am, with a $20.16 pre-fix menu. Appetizer choices include chicken lettuce wraps; pork & chive dumplings; chicken satay with peanut sauce, vegetable spring rolls; and mixed Asian green salad with orange miso vinaigrette. For your entree, you’ll choose between the Beijing chicken made with red bean sauce and walnuts; flank steak, ‘chinochurri’ sauce with taro fries; Chow Fun noodles with mushrooms; and Singapore rice noodles with shrimp and calamari. Dessert is either a chocolate tart with Asian Pear marmalade or an assortment of tangy sorbets.
My personal favorite was the Beijing chicken, but the flank steak was a close second—and I would definitely go back just for those two dishes alone.
If you can’t make it to the club for lunch during the week, try their weekend dim sum brunch — which is served on rolling carts — which kicks off at 11 am.