REVIEW

Hurricane Club

This venue has closed.

The Hurricane Club has been widely compared to Trader Vic's, the Polynesian-themed restaurant in the Plaza Hotel which Donald Trump amusingly called "tacky" and closed when he purchased the hotel in 1993.  But this 10,000 square foot semi-club is something more.  With a South Pacific-inspired design by AvroKO, sophisticated cuisine from Craig Koketsu and delicious cocktails that are a throwback to the 1950s Polynesian-cocktail culture, the restaurant is both an unabashed scene and a serious dining destination. 

The pulsing main dining room is dominated by a central tiki bar crowned with a rectangular chandelier composed of a seemingly endless stream of cascading crystals.  Green faux alligator banquettes orbit around it and elegant Austrian shades hang in the windows.  Mirrors are cleverly and voluminously arranged throughout to reflect the extravagance of it all.  This is dining as theater, in the style of Buddakan and Tao. 

Critics don't like themed restaurants that are also serious, and The Hurricane Club has come in for its share of criticism. Indeed, there are some drawbacks:  it can get loud, and the service is lackluster, for example.  But the faux-Polynesian cuisine is really quite excellent.  Coconut shrimp are no less delicious for being cliché.  Tuna tartare cones, a middle class transposition of the salmon cornets at Per Se, are outstanding.  Peking Duck tea sandwiches served on crisp white toast and the fiery pork dumplings are so good that it's hard to justify not simply ordering a pupu platter.  Order the "Crispy Peking Pig", a wondrously delicious platter of crispy pig skin and meat served "Peking duck-style" with steamed buns, hoisin sauce, maple miso apple butter and garnishes like scallions and cucumbers.  The imperative mood of the preceding sentence was not accidental.  Finish with a "The Samoan", a giant angel food and coconut cake best split with as many people as possible.  Outsized proportions are not limited to dessert and design:  cocktails are meant for sharing, such as "The Watermelon", a drink comprised of 42-Below vodka, fresh lime, mint and rhubarb that is actually served in a watermelon. 

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INFORMATION

Flatiron
360 Park Avenue South
    Craig Koketsu, Chef
    AvroKo, Designer
    Lawrence Knapp, Chef de Cuisine
    Richard Leach, Cocktail Director

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