Eating Like a Club King: A Taste of No. 8′s New Menu

Amy Sacco.

Amy Sacco at No. 8.

Suppertime is a strange point in the evening to be sitting at No. 8, the Meatpacking nightclub that is approaching its one-year anniversary. It’s a place where one usually ends up near the end of a marathon bender, when a mix of fashion and music industry ingenues mingles with the occasional movie star over ear-shattering disco.

At around 8 p.m. on a chilly night last week, a small and starving (and sober—for now) group of guests arrived at a strangely quiet No. 8, audibly chattering about the possible arrival later on of Ryan Gosling and his girlfriend Eva Mendes after the New York premiere of their new film, The Place Beyond the Pines. But that’s not why everyone had showed up so early.

“We have great music and great nightlife,” No. 8’s chef, Anthony Russo, told the crowd. “But we also have great food.”

Indeed, if club-hopping models happen to want sustenance beyond champagne, the food is quite good. On this night, Mr. Russo was showing off a new springtime menu; the dishes included tuna tartare, buttery grilled cheese and lobster tacos, an admirable attempt to make up for the brisk air outside. Some warmth was needed.

Presiding over the meal was No. 8 partner Amy Sacco, the remarkably tall and commanding nightlife fixture who owned and operated the now-shuttered legendary celebrity hangout Bungalow 8. Its de facto replacement, though owned by LDV Hospitality, clearly borrowed the palm fronds and carefully arranged booths from her former place.

She approached our table, reached out to shake the hand of one diner and promptly knocked over a glass, shattering it and jolting awake a lulling conversation that mostly covered unseasonably cold weather.

“Mazel tov!” Ms. Sacco exclaimed.

We congratulated her on the new menu, but couldn’t help but wonder: do people actually eat at a club that’s become known as one of the glitziest place to be in NYC after 2 in the morning?

“You know No. 8 differently,” Ms. Sacco told the Transom. “You can come early, order a lot of different things, then you can decide to stay and party, or you can go home.”

Speaking of staying and partying, we asked if Mr. Gosling would actually show up at No. 8 later that night.

“Oh, who knows? I don’t know,” Ms. Sacco said, with a sly grin. Then she whispered: “But I am best friends with his girlfriend.”

When the meal was over, the disco lights turned on. The jury was still out as to whether Mr. Gosling would make an appearance. But either way, it was definitely time to party.