Development on the Lower East Side is such that every time your parents visit and you look for a place to put them up, there’s some new hotel you’ve never heard of. One of the latest entrants, on Allen Street, is the Sago, which describes the LES as the city’s “most alluring metropolitan gem” and describes itself as “an orchestra of mechanical and rustic energies.” Okay, then!
Now the Sago has a restaurant, The John Lamb, that describes itself in a press release as “speakeasy meets steampunk.” The John Lamb is not to be confused with the Lambs Club, uptown– it’s named after a local Revolutionary War hero, which, hey, is at least not going to piss off the neighbors. The restaurant is operated by Joseph Valentine, former owner of FireBird Restaurant and Caviar Bar, but, thank goodness, it isn’t nearly as pricy as that Theater District splurge spot. In fact, there’s a $1 oyster happy hour from 4pm to 7pm and 1opm till close. Nor is the decor as ostentatious– in fact, it’s hard to see why they’re describing the John Lamb as steampunk, since it consists of the usual Edison bulbs and exposed brick.
But, whatever. Let’s talk about the food, which runs the gamut from Southern-style fried chicken (look out, Sweet Chick) to kung pao calamari (hello, Mission Chinese) to devils on horseback (ya heard that, Freemans?) to a selection of sausages sourced from Schaller & Weber. True to the place’s name, there’s also a lamb burger. Also, birthday party alert: the restaurant can hook you up with whole-animal dinners at a communal table.
The cocktail program, developed by Mikey Belasco of The Gilroy and The Grey Lady, seems inventive enough, incorporating exotic ingredients like “tobacco-rinsed” whiskey, housemade pomegranate soda, and sweet potatoe [sic] syrup. That last one should go over well with Dan Quayle.
Have a look at the menus below.
The John Lamb in the Sago Hotel, 120 Allen St., Lower East Side; open Sun–Wed 3pm-12am, Thurs-Sat 3pm-2am; 212-392-4244.