Every day, moth, and year, someone is trying to create to be the nest big thing. Guests are pretty savvy these days, and they’ve seen it all—it takes a lot to wow them. But I would hazard to guess that Chefs Club by Food & Wine is doing just that. The idea behind Chefs Club is a brave one. We’ve all heard the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen,” but that’s exactly what Chefs Club embraces. Chefs who might never otherwise open a restaurant in New York get to flex their culinary chops here, and guests who may never otherwise taste their food get a good chance to do that.
On the design front, it’s not easy feat to impress guests these days, either. Good link to the designer who dares to put another Edison bulb in the dining room. But the Rockwell-designed space at Chefs Club is stunning. What’s old is new again, again. We’ve seen the elements before—concert, marble, brick, steel, wood—but here they feel fresh, and they come together to create a dining room that is handsome, sophisticated, and very New York. I particularly love the open kitchen, and the way Rockwell has incorporated seating almost within the kitchen itself.
What most inspired me for this month’s dish was not any one visual comment (There were simply too many to choose from), but the way in which Rockwell takes classic elements and makes them feel new. Steak tartar for example, is mot certainly in the pantheon of classic French dishes. I love a good steak tartare, but I wanted to change things up a bit, so here, I use lamb. Lamb is one of my favorite proteins to work with, and it;s important to get the absolute freshest lamb you can find, preferably grass-fed. The brown butter vinaigrette lends a hint of tastiness. Then i add a small dollop of sheep’s milk yogurt, season with garlic, lemon, and mint to give the tartare a delicate brightness. Individually, the flavors might be familiar enough, but together I hope they inspire something new.