Cooking with the Caspers

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The Caspers Go To New York, Part II

There's something you need to know about Mrs. Casper. She grew up with the occasional "I won!" from her mother, which usually meant that her mom had been the 17th caller, and now free tires or tickets to a show would be showing up soon. There's just a certain degree of luck that has been passed down, and on February 19, the Caspers got some of that luck. The Lambs Club, owned by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, held a social media giveaway of a dinner for two, and Mrs. Casper was the winner! With a 6-month cap on redeeming our prize, the Caspers made a reservation around their anniversary, and Mega-Bussed overnight to New York. After a long day of seeing the city, and a few hours rest in the surprisingly-luxurious Pod 52 hotel, the Caspers were cleaned up and ready to eat. 

As the sun lowered behind the skyscrapers, the Caspers and our achy feet traced a perfectly straight map line from the hotel, through the theater district, and to the beacon of class and comfort that is The Lambs Club.

The doorman let us in with a gracious smile, and it was time for the moment of truth as the Caspers approached the front desk. Deep red fabrics, shiny silver accents, and smooth jazz enveloped us as Mrs. Casper nervously said, "Hello, we're the Caspers, the, um, contest winners?" Of course, this pinnacle of sophistication was prepared for us, and we were lead to the round booth we'd seen so many times on their social media, the very booth Chef GZ sits in when he's around. A starter of champagne cast more than a few curious eyes in our direction as we delved into the menu. We were close to choosing the tasting menu, but instead built our own culinary experience.

For our appetizers, we chose the burrata, a ball of mozzarella with a center of cream, served over pickled peppers and a savory jam, as well as the dry aged steak tartare. The burrata was a fresh combination of soft, salty cheese and  bright peppers, and the tartare, oh, the tartare! Mrs. Casper still holds it as the best steak she's ever had. The richness of the dry aged beef was only deepened by the tangy herbal frisee below it, and the russet chips served with it gave the punch of salt that brought the mouthful together in a decadent symphony.

Our entrees came seamlessly as we began to slow on our appetizers, and with our choices came sides the chef sent along: heirloom carrots and roasted Brussels sprouts. A leap up from the average side, both had elements of natural sweetness and roasted darkness that made them the perfect simple foil to our dinners.

Mr. Casper had the Peking Duck, cooked to medium rare.  Seared duck breast with crisp skin sat atop an acidic orange sauce, and with it a duck confit cake. The deep flavor of the tender duck was in harmony with the tart sauce, and the generous portion meant Mr. Casper had a great snack for the hotel room.

Mrs. Casper felt that, when in The Lambs Club, one should get the lamb, and the trio of cuts did not disappoint. A hefty chop was centered on a sesame puree, the bone supported by a t-bone cut and a thick slice of lamb belly. The mid-rare smoky meat was the perfect comfort meal to cap off a day that began at 7:00am.

And then came dessert. Full to bursting already, we chose one dessert, a chocolate caramel confection that was eaten too quickly for a picture. Despite our modest ordering, our selected dessert brought some friends along. An assortment of petit fours marched down a thin plate, with a white chocolate caramel brittle, a creamy dark chocolate truffle, a delicate macaron, and a soft fruit gel square that brought summer to the cozy warmth of the plate. We ate one of each, and saved one of each to snack on later. The true crowning achievement of our meal, however, came in the form of Chef GZ's signature dessert: the famous Baked Alaska.

A hedgehog of meringue seated atop a bowl like a cloud supporting a mountaintop sat between us, and Mr. Casper took the plunge, cracking the meringue and finding the toffee cream center with its firm cake base. This complimentary final course, paired with smooth and nutty black coffee, gave us our final taste of old New York.

Leftovers in hand, we asked one of the many helpful and decorous staff to take our picture, and then we headed back to Pod 52, our step into a more dignified time at an end.

The Caspers after the best meal of their lives.

We are so grateful to The Lambs Club for making our anniversary special, and for giving us an experience in food that was beyond our dreams. We will absolutely be back to the city that never sleeps, and the restaurant that welcomed us like family.