Lunch Fit for a Luxury Junkie: Noontime at the Core Club with the Imperial Hotel

For the past few months The Core Club has been a regular name drop location in Manhattan, recently entertaining the likes of NBC President Jeff Zucker, former New York Jet Quarterback and CBS Sports Commentator Boomer Esiason. Even more intriguing than their powerhouse clientele, is the the novel idea of four star quality food at a midtown Manhattan club house, which is certainly not always the case.

When the opportunity to enjoy a visit to The Core Club to meet and dine with the President of Japan’s most famous luxury hotel presented itself, I was certainly not one to say no. Clearing my schedule for the afternoon, I journeyed to midtown to enjoy an intimate feast of the senses and a fix of ultimate luxury.

Mr. Peter Shaindlin and Mr. Tetsuya Kobayashi

The luncheon celebrated the recent alliance of two legendary hotels, the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and the Halekulani Corporation in Oahu. Upon entering the the presence of Mr. Tetsuya Kobayashi, President of the Imperial Hotel and Mr. Peter Shaindlin, Chief Operating Officer of Halekulani Corporation, I was set at ease by their comforting poise and demeanor. It is clearly evident they are the masterminds who understand true quality, refinement in the details, and how to make luxury a reality. Their alliance is certain to set unprecedented levels of excellence and service in the luxury industry.

An intimate gathering of 12 people, we entered a simply elegant rectangular dining room. Fresh white orchids placed carefully in shades of green foliage were on the parameters of the room. A long rectangle of orchids in tall blades of green grass served as a centerpiece for the dining table. Finding my place card, I sat graciously in my chair. Unfolding a crisp white napkin, a waiter softly poured Domain Dominique Guyot into stemware. We raised our glasses for the remarks of the new collaboration.

Conversation during the luncheon settled on visits to the highest rated luxury hotels in the world, light conversational topics, and highlights from the of the legacy of the Imperial Hotel. Through 120 years, historic moments at the Imperial Hotel included a visit by Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio on their honeymoon, an earthquake survival of the Frank Lloyd Wright wing, and entertaining representatives from 32 countries for an Emperor’s funeral.

We enjoying course after course of food and wine. Most notable was the third course Black Bass, which had the perfect amount of foam carassing the layers of the medium bodied fish.  When the final bubbles of Veuve Cliquot settled to the bottom of their flutes. the luncheon commenced with Mr. Tetsuya Kobayashi’s stating, “To see it is to believe it.”  We departed with a box of delightful chocolates courtesy of the Imperial Hotel. After the first bite on my train ride home, a trip to Asia in pursuit of finding these chocolates on my pillow might very well soon be due.

A Lunch Menu fit for A Luxury Junkie…

Tuna Tartar
Bartlett pear, mint, ginger & lime

Domain Dominique Guyot, Pouilly-Fume, Loire, France, 2007

Beet Salad
Goat Cheese, beet tops, marcona almonds & balsamic

Flaca, Cafayate Valley, Torrontes, Argentina, 2008

Black Bass
Crushed fingerlings, shrimp, celery root & vanilla sauce

Louis Jadot, Bourgogne, France, 2007

Seasonal Fruit Salad
Champagne & citrus granite

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Yellow Label, N.V.