Friday Family Fun

When restaurant week is so good, you can’t only do it once. And with that in mind, my parents and I did dinner on Friday night at the Lamb’s Club – Bar.

It was a lovely treat to see them for dinner. We could eat, chat, and just enjoy being together without worrying about the cooking or cleaning. Being able to dress up a little didn’t hurt either!

Lamb’s Club is located awfully close to Times Square (I’m really only willing to go to Times Square if it’s necessary for me to get to another destination; too many people). But the entrance is understated and hidden away.

Inside, however, is not understated.

The lobby bar is very Art Deco and pretty, while the main floor restaurant is an explosion of red leather

While we waited for our table, we treated ourselves to pre-dinner arancini. Cheesy and sturdy, and with a really great mustard to pair with it.
But dinner was the true star of the show.

The Bar is upstairs and has a more “cool” vibe than downstairs. There are large windows overlooking the bright street, an impressive bar, and lamps shaped like the Empire State Building. It also opens to the lobby, so diners can see everything.

My parents began with the yellowfin tuna tartare — Papa Teng’s first time! It was really fresh and delicious, from what I hear.

I had the burrata. And what a wonderful choice it was. Start in a meal with chunks of cheese and crunchy bread should be the norm.

Papa Teng and I went for the pork belly. Truly triumphant. It was tender and juicy. There was just enough fat. The flavor was rich, and the bourbon glaze was not too sweet. I’m unsure what vegetables were on the side, but I cannot say I found them particularly inspiring; rather bland, in my opinion.

But then again, when you have a pork belly in front of you, who cares about the vegetables?

The desserts were a wonderful ending of the night. I originally chose the carmelized pineapple tart tatin: fruity and refreshing after such a rich meal. But Mama Teng got plate envy, and we happily switched.

So then I ended up with the chocolate parfait. Not too sweet, and the mousse-like texture paired very well with the crunchy base.

Our meal lasted about 2 hours, which was lovely. Having people to talk to, and having other plates to try, makes for a different experience than dining alone. (But I still recommend that people try out both at some point!)

I’m very close with my parents (people have called us the Three Musketeers), and I truly believe that, as an only child, I have a bond with my parents that my friends with siblings can’t understand. That bond has shaped me in so many ways.

One example would be eating. When I was growing up, my parents placed emphasis on family meals; we could spend the whole day on our own things, but we will come together at dinner. Those dinners sometimes happened late at night, like 9 pm, but they happened. We’d talk about our days and watch the news. It was over these conversations that I would express some strongly held view or another, and my parents would challenge me to strengthen my argument or think about an alternate side. I won’t lie — it wasn’t always fun to be challenged over dinner, but it was definitely helpful. (They’ve even taken this principle beyond the dinner table: they successfully encouraged me to attend a multi-day event to meet with other students my age who held very different political views than I did. All for the purpose of seeing things through a new lens, so that I may understand and anticipate potential counterarguments to my views, and in turn strengthen my position. It was an interesting three days.)
Over dinner, we would plan trips, talk about hopes and dreams, moan in joy over my mom’s cooking, and talk about all things frivolous and serious. And the same pattern carries wherever we are eating, be it over sushi or pizza or home cooking.

Through this upbringing, I have come to see meals as more than just necessary eating. It’s an occasion to come together and talk about things beyond platitudes and small talk.

Maybe that’s part of why I love food so much.


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