For the past four years, there’s been a rumor that Limelight is either closing down, becoming a club again, David Barton is fully taking over the space or the best… it’s turning into an IHOP. I was most excited for an IHOP, but when I found out that the shops would stay the same and a new restaurant called “Jue Lan Club” was coming to the space, I was a bit skeptical.
The atmosphere was unexpectedly beautiful, modern, yet classic. Take a peek here for a virtual tour. I had no idea that they had outdoor seating, and we were lucky enough that it was a nice day so we sat on the patio. It was dark out, but I can definitely see this being a hot happy hour spot in the summer.
The staff was really friendly and offered their opinions on the best things to order. The menu was diverse with so many delicious sounding options. Everything seemed like it was mainly small plates, so we ordered the dishes all at once to make it easier for the waiter. Maybe not the best idea because all the food came out at the same time... Shouldn’t we have been warned this ahead of time? One of my biggest pet peeves is when a restaurant brings everything altogether because it’s super overwhelming, there is never enough room on the table, and things get cold because you are too busy making sure all of the dishes are on your plate before actually eating it.
With that said, the food was actually pretty good. Since there was no order to how things came out, below are so food shots of what we got. Everything was delicious unless noted otherwise!
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Crispy Rock Shrimp Tempura with Spicy Mayo and Cilantro
Chicken Dumplings in a Charcoal Wrapper
**This was okay, and I found the charcoal wrapper weird
Chow Fun Noodles with Mushrooms
**I’ve had many Chow Fun Noodles in my day and these were good and look great, but they could have definitely been more flavorful
Baby Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic
I may have been a tough critic on the noodle dishes, but these Red Velvet Fortune Cookies were adorably amazing, and set the restaurant apart from other trendy Chinese restaurants in NYC.
Jue Lan Club gets a 7/10 on the #FoodtoSexRatio scale. Most things were yummy, but I am still hung up on how everything came out altogether. I don't like feeling rushed when eating (or taking my pictures!). I would like to come back and give it another shot and order dishes in a few different rounds.
Jue Lan Club
49 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011