There's a classic old world feel that happens when you enter a restaurant on the Upper East Side. Yes, there are many new ones popping up with the younger trendier people in mind, but that's not what the neighborhood is known for. Many consider it a neighborhood unnecessary to travel to thinking that it's both old and uninspired. Someplace you'd perhaps expect to see a steakhouse. Instead of letting this stereotype hinder them, Arlington Club has seamlessly found a way to play off of it.
Setting foot inside the vast space with its brick lined vaulted ceilings, black framed black and white photo clad walls, wooden pillars—I mean there’s a mezzanine level in there for goodness sakes! It's masculine. If you’re thinking about everything I’ve just described, putting the pieces together and thinking that it must breed an older crowd, you’d be right. I think, we should change that paradigm! They can stay, but we should join, cause I love it there!
The menu boasts contemporary American dishes with remarkable elevation. You see, I was eating with family—aka, not at the restaurant for work—and was trying to be healthy after eating my weight in carbs at the work meal I just left early to make it to this dinner in time. So, I ordered a salad. Then, the glutton in me said, order the side of Mac And Cheese for the table—which we all know was my guilty way of saying, “order it for me”. Out came Chef and Partner Ralph Scamardella’s Mac And Cheese. Holy crap! It was like being in Super Mario World! Every single rigatoni noodle was standing vertically! I’d never seen this take on a mac and cheese dish before. Garlp-garlp-garlp! (yes, that’s the sound of Mario going down those famous green pipes! Shout out to Editor-at-Large of Kotaku Kirk Hamilton for figuring that phonetic spelling out in his article How To Spell Mario's Jump (And Other Famous Video Game Sound Effects)) Charred tipped, these rigatoni noodles were sitting partially submerged in a thick delicious bath of liquid smoked gouda. And—snap—like that, my desire of being healthy was catapulted out the dark wooden framed front windows.
I know, I know, mac and cheese being amazing is not news. A salad being so good that it bears mention, now that’s another story! Now, if I didn’t emphasize it enough, Arlington Club is on the Upper East Side. Which means, young moms pushing babies around in their trendy Lulu Lemon workout wear. Salads are important. Salads will bring in the mamas. From the Kale Salad to the Lobster And Crab Louie, these salads are so thoughtful, super delicious and you can top all of them with chicken, shrimp, salmon or a half of lobster.
If you’re thinking, “Michelle, it’s a steakhouse, what about the steak?”. Well, I can tell you is that the second the perfectly charred steak was placed down on the table, there was silence and that silence lingered until the steak was entirely demolished.
Take a trip to the dark side, ahem, Upper East Side and enjoy it!