REVIEW

Arlington Club

Restauranteur Laurent Tourondel is the fecund godfather of the wide-ranging BLT franchise, which now encompasses, in Manhattan alone, BLT Steak, BLT Prime, BLT Fish, BLT Fish Shack, BLT Burger and BLT Bar & Grill.  He had not opened a new restaurant in New York City in some years when he partnered with the "vibe dining" specialists at TAO Group in 2012 to open Arlington Club, an American-Japanese fusion steakhouse animated by French technique.  Housed directly midway between Orsay, the French brasserie at 75th that used to be Mortimer's, and Swifty's at 73rd street, Arlington Club understandably draws clientele of a certain gilded persuasion. 

The bi-level, Parisian train station-inspired interior is warm, clubby and dramatic, with double barrel vaulted ceilings, a mezzanine level with steel-arched glass skylights and a lively Beaux-Arts-inspired oak bar that juts like the prow of a ship out over the bartenders.  The bar, somewhat famously, has become something of a hookup scene for ladies and gentleman of a certain maturity. 

A meal begins with a complimentary basket of outrageously good popovers, piping hot and crusted with slightly charred gruyère, emmental and fontina cheese, as good as any bread served at any restaurant in the city.  Although Arlington Club devotes nearly a third of its menu to sushi options, we will chivalrously ignore them, and you should follow our lead.  Instead, focus on the U.S.D.A prime steaks, which are dry-aged for 28 days and seared on a 1,200 degree broiler, resulting in charred, complex, smoky creations like a côte de boeuf and porterhouse for two and a bone in rib eye.  An extensive list of 15 sides is particularly praiseworthy:  crispy potatoes Arlington cooked in clarified butter, truffled gnocchi slathered in melted Parmesean and cream, a smoky, crusty mac & cheese, crispy zucchini blossoms christened by Steve Cuozzo as little Monet haystacks and alternately sweet and bitter Brussels sprouts.  Order correctly, and it's one of the best steakhouses in the city. 

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INFORMATION

Upper East Side
1032 Lexington Ave.
New York (at 74th St.)
(212) 249-5700
Mon, 5pm-11pm; Tues-Fri, 5pm-midnight; Sat, 11:30am-4pm, 5pm-midnight; Sun, 11:30am-4pm, 5pm-11pm
    Laurent Tourondel, Chef

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