As far as NYC restaurants go, bigger isn’t necessarily always better. Some of my favorite spots are tiny, like Tre in the Lower East Side and Frank in the East Village. But sometimes, a gigantic restaurant captures my heart (and my stomach) like Buddakan in the Meatpacking District. Last week, I had dinner plans with 3 of my girlfriends and we all really wanted to eat at The Hurricane Club on 26th & Park in Gramercy. I had only ever been for drinks and was dying to try the food, so after a few drinks at Wilfe & Nell to celebrate a friend’s new job, Sam, Colby, Caitlin & I were in a cab to The Hurricane Club. It’s worth mentioning that we had the worst cab driver in the history of cab drivers, but I digress.
When you walk into the Hurricane Club, you instantly note how huge it is. High ceilings only add to it and the dim lighting gives the room a sexy, mysterious vibe. It feels like you’ve just walked into a jungle with lush greenery and a beautiful bar in the center of the room.We sat down in a massive booth made to hold 6 people and opened the drink menus.Colby & Caitlin both ordered the #58; dark rum, caramelized banana, lime & mint, Sam opted for the #28; Sapphire, ginger, grapefruit and a ginger-salt rim, and I (of course) got the #21; Ketel One (fave), cucumber (other fave), Lillet & lime. When the drinks came out, I was excited to see mine was a brilliant cucumber-y green.The drink had a wonderful cucumber flavor and was very refreshing.
Now it was on to the important stuff – the food! We decided to split 3 appetizers and each order our own entrée. We shared the PB & Guava Jam Sandwiches with Prosciutto & Thai Basil, the BBQ Chicken Cones and the Tuna Tartar Special. Everyone was excited about the PB & Jam Sandwiches, and while I was a little disappointed that they were so tiny, they were incredible.Never have I thought to put Prosciutto and Peanut Butter together, but I will certainly do it from now on. The blend of both savory ingredients with the sweet jam made for a rich, delicious dish that we all enjoyed. The Tuna Tartar was bright red but nothing too special. The crackers that it came with were also good, but again, meh. It was pretty standard, and at those prices, I expect the food to knock my socks off. My socks definitely stayed put.Finally, the BBQ Chicken Cones were also good, but not amazing. The waiter had recommended them, and if you’re going to go out of your way to recommend something, it should be great. The presentation was beautiful but the flavors fell a little short.So, we were one for three on our appetizers and were all hoping our entrees would make up for it. Caitlin and I both ordered the Filet Mignon with Shitake Mushrooms & Roasted Sesame Hollandaise (mine rare, hers medium), Sam ordered the Red Curry Scallops and Colby ordered the Spice-Crusted Shrimp with Coconut Cream. I was planning to order the Ginger Scallion Dover Sole Amadine but our waiter regretfully informed us that they had just run out. Bummer. We also ordered the Hawaiian Fried Rice in Hot Stone Bowl to share.
A waitress quickly brought over our rice, and the presentation was awesome. All the ingredients sat together in the bowl; the rice, an egg, some pineapple, avocado and more, and she mixed it for us at the table.We were told to let the rice sit for a few minutes so it could cook in the bowl, but the smell got the best of us and we couldn’t wait very long.We scooped ourselves heaping portions as our meals were delivered to the table. The portions were rather generous and everything smelled delicious. My steak was wonderful, tender and juicy with just the right amount of spices. I scraped off some of the Hollandaise because I’m not a huge fan of the sauce in general and I forgot to ask them to leave it off. I was thoroughly happy with my order.I cut into the steak and was thrilled at the perfectly rare center I had requested.Unfortunately Caitlin wasn’t as lucky. She had told the waiter she didn’t want “any blood” but what she got was brown meat with a tiny pink strip. Not charred, but definitely not perfectly medium. The waiter took her steak back to fire her another portion, as he should have at $34 a pop. Her steak came back out cooked much more rare the second time, but I think this steak made her a believer in the benefits of rare meat. She loved the steak and even said she’d order it medium rare next time. Horray for another rare meat convert! (You’re next, Jill.)
Sam’s scallops were great too, accompanied by a semi-sweet coconut curry sauce that complimented the scallops perfectly. I’m pretty sure they were Japanese Scallops, not sea scallops, as they were flatter than I’m used to. Regardless, they were yummy. Colby’s shrimp came out with the entire shell intact, which I’m not crazy about, but once I tasted the dish it didn’t matter. The shrimp were also very good, a curious blend of spices made for a unique flavor that I truly enjoyed, and it seemed that she enjoyed it as well.
We didn’t leave any room for dessert, so we asked for the check. The waiter was kind enough to remove Caitlin’s steak from the tab, so when all was said and done it worked out to be about $60 a person for the entire meal. I have no problem paying for a great meal, but I’m not sure I would call this meal “great.” It was unique and it was good, but I wasn’t completely impressed. I definitely want to go back and try a few of the other items on the menu. I try not to give a restaurant a negative rating until I’ve gone there more than once, so let’s just say that The Hurricane Club needs to work a little harder next time to get a rave review out of me.
Do you usually send food back if it’s not cooked to your liking? I have to say that overdone red meat is about the only thing I ever send back. I like my red meat bloody! If you want proof, just look at my pictures from my dinner at Peter Luger.
-The Fabulous Foodie