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Jul 26, 2011 09:16 AM

Le Marais vs. Clubhouse Cafe for pre-matinee lunch

We live about three hours from the City and don't get in often, and there are no kosher restaurants (except for one veggie Chinese place) closer than an hour away.

Anyway, we're coming in to see a Broadway matinee in a couple of weeks and both Le Marais and Clubhouse Cafe are less than a block from the theater. We ate at Le Marais for lunch about a year ago and were very happy with it. At the same time we do tend to fall into a rut and go back to places we like over and over, so I am thinking of Clubhouse Cafe instead. Anyone been to both and can compare? How is Clubhouse Cafe's fried chicken? My wife is from Kentucky so she might like that.

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  1. I haven't had the fried chicken. In general, however, Clubhouse is in a price and caliber category a notch down form La marais. That said, you can have a good burger there, I like their Moroccan lamb sliders very much. It's not crowded at lunch. Both restaurants can be very noisy at suppertime. They are designed to be noisy, acoustically. Both are a nicer experience at lunchtime.

    And, this is probably unnecessary advice in your case, but be sure to tell your waiter what time you have to leave in order to catch the matinee.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AdinaA

      Clubhouse has a younger, hipper vibe, even at lunch. Otherwise, Adina's hit on all the big issues at play here.

      1. re: DeisCane

        True. It is so young and hip that in the evening the staff can be downright rude if you bring a child or if you are over 40. This is a singles scene and they are bing rude and hustling you to get you out. You are spoining the scene.

        This is not true at lunchtime, where office groups often come and it is not, in my experience, crowded.

    2. AIUI they're under the same management, and may even share each other's kitchens. I haven't been to Le Marais since the flap with Rabbi Bitton, and Clubhouse opened after that so I haven't been there either.

      1 Reply
      1. re: zsero

        As it happened we went to Clubhouse Cafe for a quick early dinner after the show instead of lunch before. My mom recently came to NY for medical treatment and is staying at Hope Lodge, a residence for patients receiving chemo or radiation therapy who don't live in New York. So we had takeout sandwiches from Mendy's with her for lunch. They were just OK. Last time in New York I ate at 2nd Ave. Deli (yes, I know a lot of folks on this board don't accept their hashgacha) and I think it's ruined me for anywhere else.

        We went to Clubhouse Cafe after the show so got there a little before 5. From reading earlier posts here I was not surprised when they sat us literally right next to the kitchen (we are in our early 50's and not hip enough for a "better" table.) But the service was still quite excellent and very solicitous. We were in a hurry to catch a train and asked the waiter to bring the check with the food, and he did so.

        We split the duck empanadas which we liked. Wife said the fried chicken was very good but not great (she will never admit that any fried chicken is better than hers, but she doesn't make it very often because it's not an easy dish to do right and leaves the house smelling from the frying for a long time after,) My lamb sliders were great and the accompanying fries were every bit as good as, and very similar to, those at Le Marais.

        In reply to a prior post, I don't see how Le Marais and Clubhouse Cafe can share a kitchen (though they do have the same management). They are across the street from each other and I didn't see any food being transported across W. 46 St, and I doubt there is a tunnel underground connecting the two.