When you were a kid, there was always the one friend with a cool basement. Maybe he or she had the best video game setup or between the multiple couches and sharp cornered hallways, maybe the lower level of their house was the perfect spot for a Nerf war. Whatever it was, this basement gave you and your friends the freedom to do whatever you felt like without anyone really watching over you. When you want to take a trip back to that basement, head to Ticonderoga Club.
Located in the back corner of Krog Street Market, Ticonderoga Club is a bar and restaurant filled with everything from maritime antiques to a Grease-era John Travolta headshot whose eyes seem to follow you when you walk across the room. This place is dark, loud, and feels like you’re hiding just out of reach of adult supervision, somewhere where you could sneak a joint or watch Basic Instinct for the first time without anyone knowing.
Much like the space itself, the menu also takes some big chances, by serving both Southeast Asian dishes and 1950s steakhouse classics. The two styles don’t make any sense together, but they don’t really need to because at Ticonderoga Club, there are no rules and everything’s delicious. The vegan noodle bowl and sweet and sour charred pork are served alongside a Cobb salad and oysters gratin. And the two halves of the menu even come together in the form of steak tartare, which is mixed with Chinese chili paste and served with slices of daikon radish.
Even though Ticonderoga Club is for sure a restaurant first, they also make some of the best cocktails in the city. Make sure to show up early for dinner and have a Ticonderoga Cup at the bar, or stick around afterwards for a night cap. Much like the food menu, there’s no rhyme or reason to the drink selection, so if you don’t feel like a cocktail, but a glass of sherry or port sounds sounds good, have at it.
Between the Christmas lights, the captain’s chair at the bar, and super friendly bartenders, Ticonderoga Club exists in its own little universe that’s really fun to visit. And just like the legendary basement that you still think of when you hear the words “N64” or “couch fort,” this is the perfect spot to hide out with your friends on Friday night, and maybe try something new along the way.
The menu changes frequently, but this should give you an idea of the kinds of things you’ll eat here.
This salad is basically just a whole grilled endive, but considering the amount of meat you eat here, it’s good to start with something light.
This spicy tartare is a new take on the classic and while it definitely has a kick, the slices of daikon help balance out the heat a bit.
Just like how there’s a never a bad time for bagel bites when you’re a kid, we’d happily eat these sweetbreads in the morning, in the evening, or even at suppertime.
Sweet and Sour Charred Pork
The pork is charred, spicy, and sweet, and comes with a basil and cilantro salad. When you don’t bring enough people to get the Chuck Wagon, this is the entree you should order.
Lemon Braised Rabbit
If you really love rabbit and don’t get to eat it often, this dish is perfectly fine. As a forewarning though, the grilled vegetables are really the best part.
Vegan Noodle Bowl
While it’s the only vegetarian option on the menu, these vegan noodles are one of the best things you can eat at Ticonderoga Club. That said, you can also add duck confit if you want a little something extra.
This is basically a birthday cake made out of steak. Or, a birthday steak. Whatever you want to call it, if you brought a group of at least four people, get it. You won’t need extra sides, but if you do, go for the roasted mushrooms and wok vegetables to round things out.