I have a confession to make: I had never been inside a NYC gentleman’s club until last night when I got a lovely invitation from Rick’s Cabaret publicist Jules Feiler to come check out the hors d’oeuvres and meet chef Jayson Margulies upstairs in the VIP lounge area along with a few lifestyle blogger pals. This 10,000 foot three-story club just boggles the mind because you really walk in on a red carpet as promised on their website and there are over 50 dancers and hostesses working at any one time. I was fascinated by the translucent, rose-filled piece of electrical art just a few feet in from the front door that is shaped like a woman’s torso. The dancers were very curvaceous and I have to say I was jealous of some whose boobs seemed to very perky but kept my mind on the food being served. The food at Rick’s has a tremendous reputation and that’s why I wanted to visit. I have had several male friends that their steaks are on par with any fine NYC steakhouse and that their three-course $15 Saturday and Sunday lunch is the foodie world’s “best kept secret.” While Rick’s of course features scantily glad dancers it does make women and couples feel at home. Many guests are really coming for the food and white glove service; you would be hard-pressed to find more attentive and cordial service at any other NYC restaurant or club. The staff really wants you to relax and enjoy yourself and there is never any pressure to get lap dances or bottle service (which is something that keeps many out of gentleman’s clubs).Young Chef Margulies–who put in time at both Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse and Scores in Atlantic City–knocked everyone’s socks off with his inventive takes on American classics. We bloggers were just expecting appetizers and hors d’oeuvres but he was kind enough to create giant portions of a couple of Rick’s Cabaret signature entrees. In the photo above, you see the chef with his now-legendary lamb chops served with a mild brown sauce. Excitement ensued the minute everyone laid eyes on theses and thankfully his team came around with a couple of additional trays.The beef satay with lime sauce was another crowd pleaser. The chef uses prime strip steak to make this so the meat was extra tender. I could have easily devoured this entire tray and it whetted my appetite to come back for more during a private visit. It also made me want to try some of the other cuts of beef served at Rick’s. I plan to come in for a filet mignon very shortly as a treat to myself for completing a big project.The lobster grilled cheese also was a big hit with my blogger friends and other guests up in Rick’s second floor VIP area. This is my idea of classy finger food and this unique dish has been garnering a lot of accolades as it is not often that you see lobster and cheese successfully teamed up. This appetizer is proof of Chef Margulies true inventiveness and how his own recipes are rarely like anything you have had before!The humorously titled Oysters Rickafella are a huge sensation at the club and again, Chef Margulies has come up with a unique recipe–topping oysters with cream cheese and spinach and letting them mixture get nice and golden brown in a broiler. These disappeared pretty fast!The skewers of grilled shrimp with Thai peanut sauce have been a favorite on the menu for quite a while now and is particularly big with those wanting lighter fare. Rick’s does post calorie counts on their website and they are probably the only gentleman’s club that I have seen do this. That has not kept anyone from ordering Rick’s super large prime steaks, though!A further testament to Chef Margulies’ ingenuity were his deviled eggs topped with boneless buffalo white meat chicken pieces and pickled onions. Where does he come up with these colorful and flavorful ideas? Chef Margulies admits that his passion is creating newfangled concoctions just to keep the menu surprising to guests.I failed to mention that Rick’s also has remarkable house specialty drinks and that the Raspberry Cosmo is delicious, fruity and light. I had to have two or three of these! Bar staff truly care if you are enjoying your drinks and are happy to adjust them to your liking. As you can probably see by now how Rick’s manages to not only be Manhattan’s #1 Gentlemen’s club both in terms of the food and the entertainment. I would have never guessed that guys would go to a strip club for food but after tasting a good assortment of Rick’s menu items I firmly believe any man who says he goes there for the food. Chef Margulies has taken Rick’s fare several notches above his competitors’ offerings. For more info, go to www.ricksnewyork.com. Reservations are recommended but not necessary and as mentioned before, ladies are welcome.
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