By Patrick Hood and Caitlyn Letterii
Join Caitlyn Letterii and Patrick Hood, expert paranormal researchers (and amateur foodies) as they explore and critique the cheap eats available around the Bronx and greater Big Apple area.
While we usually stay in the Bronx for our reviews, we decided that for our last column of the semester we should go out with a bang and take our friends to dine at New York’s spookiest spot: Jekyll and Hyde Club in Greenwich Village. It was both everything and nothing that we expected it to be. Like the club motto says: “Excess is not Enough!”
PH: My favorite holiday is Halloween, so I’ve been dying to visit J&H Club for some time. I could not have been more excited to dine with all of my best ghoulfriends.
CL: On the other hand, I was not quite sure I was going to enjoy myself. You see, back in the year of our Lord, 2005, I wanted to go to J&H with my cosmopolitan aunt, but she simply wouldn’t allow it, saying it was “mediocre at best.” Entering the restaurant I feared the worst — her words becoming my reality, just like in the Will Ferrell movie Stranger than Fiction.
PH: The ambience of the place was both hilarious and sad. It was mid-afternoon and we were one of only four parties dining. We were greeted by employees donning bowler hats and sleek black and white ensembles. This fueled the illusion of entering an old-timey gentlemen’s club. For some of our party, the atmosphere caused immediate discomfort that left them on edge the entire time. I, however, loved it.
CL: J&H’s website (which is absolutely worth checking out) ominously promises that “something happens every ten minutes.” This promise was fulfilled from the moment we walked in, as ancient animatronic scientists babbled unintelligible jokes through outdated speakers.
PH: The menu offered simple American-style food at prices that were offensive to us as both college students and Americans. In fact, multiple members of our party were ready to leave at the sight of such highway robbery, but we stayed the course and gave the waiter our orders.
CL: It should be noted that the dinner theatre aspect of the restaurant constantly inhibited the waiter from doing his job. To avoid spending an arm and a leg, I ordered spaghetti a la carte from the kid’s menu and to my delight, it came with a complimentary Shirley Temple!
PH: I, too, ordered a cocktail, except instead of coming free with my meal, it cost me far too much money to mention. However, I did order it in a signature glass, which turned out to be my best move of the day. The glass is a sleek, chic and magnifique ceramic chalice with a chilling quote from the restaurant’s eponymous novel. I was smitten.
CL: After several of the “things” happened, we were indoctrinated into what I can only presume is a very exclusive dining club. While listening to the musical antics of the Funny-Bone, two decrepit skeletons pawing at fake instruments, the food finally arrived.
PH: I had ordered a cheeseburger and was pleased to find it quite tasty. The meat was cooked to order and the fries were crisp and excellently executed. I would say it exceeded expectations, except a $20 burger should come with gold flakes and caviar to justify that exorbitant of a price tag.
CL: While everyone else at our table seemed to enjoy their meals, my kid’s menu spaghetti was simply awful. As Moon Unit Zappa once sagely put it, “Gag me with a spoon!” It tasted as though the pasta had been soaking in the bottom of a cauldron with Prego sauce for the past week. Worse still, I wasn’t offered cheese!
PH: As I sit here and write this review, I reflect upon my time spent in the Halloween-hellmouth that was J&H. Sure, it was expensive. Yes, the decorations were cheap and outdated. Of course the mad scientist was really just a struggling theatre major from Vassar with what I am sure is a hilarious, tight five-minute stand up set. And yet, J&H stole my heart. It brought that childlike giddiness I usually only feel once a year when the bewitching season is upon us and in today’s cynical, Trump-dominated America, that feeling is priceless. I unashamedly give J&H Club a Sweet Rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.
CL: Honestly Pat, the restaurant was terrible, overpriced and my spaghetti was disgusting. I’m giving this place a Sour Rating of 1 out of 5 stars. I think that’s all that needs to be said.
PH: Actually, yeah it’s pretty bad. But I’ll never be happier again. Someday, when I’m holding my newborn child in my arms for the first time, I’ll still be thinking of Jekyll and Hyde Club. Excess is not enough!
You should try the burger (if you can afford it) and anything at all in the signature glass because it is cool and a worthwhile investment.
You should pass on the kid’s menu spaghetti.
Jekyll and Hyde Club
Address: 91 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
Phone number: (212) 989- 7701
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m., Friday – Saturday: 12 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Price: Hilariously Expensive