Jay Poblador, a New York restaurant industry professional for over two decades, brings his signature sense of hospitality to The Lambs Club. As General Manager of this Manhattan gem, he oversees a dining experience that embraces guests morning through night giving them a sense of ease and respite from the hustle and bustle of midtown. Poblador delivers his tremendous fine dining luxury experience with an approachable grace that has endeared guests throughout his career. Longtime friend and collegue, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian has teamed up with Poblador on many projects. “Working with Jay is not only an inspiring delight, but as we have worked together for so long, it is an automatic extension of my vision of the guest experience. He takes my direction and augments it to be better.”
Poblador graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in 2000. While he had initial aspirations of becoming a chef, Poblador accepted a fellowship as Assistant Dining Room Manager in the CIA’s restaurant. This is where Poblador discovered his passion for front-of-house interaction with staff and guests, and thus began his managerial career in hospitality.
Following his time at CIA, Poblador accepted a position at Noche in New York City as the private dining director. Impressed by his work, the owners transferred him to their notable Midtown event venue, Guastavino’s, where he remained for five years. In 2006, Zakarian recruited Poblador as the service director for his restaurant, Country, which received three-stars from The New York Times and one Michelin Star. During his tenure, Poblador says he “developed an appreciation and affinity for fine dining.”
Poblador pursued an opportunity at The Plaza Hotel’s The Oak Room in 2008 as the opening service director, working alongside the award-winning chef, Joel Antunes. He once again collaborated with Zakarian to open The National Bar and Dining Rooms, located in New York City’s The Benjamin hotel. During the interim period before Zakarian’s restaurant opened, Poblador served as a consultant for Denihan Hospitality Group, overseeing the management team at Chef Art Smith’s Art and Soul restaurant in Washington D.C. In 2010, Poblador returned to Manhattan to open The National, before joining Zakarian for the first time at The Lambs Club as Service Director.
To expand his experience further, Poblador took a position with Chef Paul Liebrandt to project manage and open critically acclaimed restaurant, The Elm, in Williamsburg in 2013. He later went on to join Alain Ducasse and the team at Benoit in fall 2014 as the restaurant’s General Manager, continuing to develop his knowledge of fine French service. From there, Poblador expanded his knowledge base again by helming three restaurants at The Pierre as the Director of Restaurants.
With this tremendous palette of work on which to draw, Poblador is thrilled to reunite with Zakarian as General Manager at The Lambs Club, overseeing Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, The Bar and a robust Events Department. “This is an exciting time for the restaurant and being a part of delivering exceptional guest memories in this historic building and luxury hotel is a perfect marriage of my passion and experience.”