By Nancy Walman
21 W. 52nd Street (Between 5th & 6th Avenues). (212) 582-7200. Website: http://www.21club.com Price Range: Bar Room. Pre-Fixe Dinner, Three courses – $40,. A La Carte: Appetizers: $14-$25. Entrees: $34-$49. (Specials and Shellfish More). Secret Wine Cellar for private dining parties only from 14 to 22 guests. Open For Lunch, Mon.-Fri. Dinner: Mon.-Sat. Closed Sunday. ’21’ Features One of the World’s Finest Selection of Wines (1,300 selections over 125 wines are priced under $60. ) There are many Wines-By-The-Glass and a Fine Selection of Half Bottles at a remarkably low mark up over full bottles. _________________________________________________________
A True New York Legend, ’21’ is Better Than Ever
Once a glamorous speakeasy, today ’21’ is one of the most celebrated restaurants in New York City.
The Coveted Bar Room (Above))
In addition to its fabled Bar Room, this four-story townhouse features ten private dining rooms, including the legendary Prohibition-era Wine Cellar (which can be reserved for private parties). The world’s most glamorous saloon, is better than ever since Orient Express Hotels took it over and restored it to its past glory. The clientele is a mix of celebrities, tycoons, regulars and an attractive new young set.
The aforementioned "Bar Room," with its red-checkered-cloth-to-cloth tables, and whimsical toys on the ceiling is blessed with a warm greeting by ‘21’s Restaurant Manager, Michael Shef, and some of the most professional service and best food in town.
Executive Chef, John Greeley (Above)
While prices are not inexpensive (although no more than many less impressive restaurants around town), a $40 pre-fixe dinner ($30 pre-fixe lunch) is a bargain. An expanded wine list offers oodles of terrific selections for $60 and under. If you go a la carte, favored appetizers include a sparkling Chilled Seafood with shrimp, oysters, clams, crab and an assortment of excellent sauces (or go for a selection of divinely fresh oysters). Other choices include a chunky Ahi Tuna Tartare, marinated Japanese cucumbers, seaweed, taro root chips, Meyer lemon purée or a fantastic Seared Foie Gras on toasted brioche, with peppercress, rhubarb compote and strawberry-papaya sauce that may be the best I’ve ever tasted.
All entrees are excellent.and carefully executed. The chef has a way with seafood, so whether you select a classic Dover Sole*, grilled or sautéed to perfection, with perfect white and green asparagus and an elegant Champagne sauce, Potato-Crusted Chatham Cod with smoked bacon, corn, ramps, sautéed king oyster mushrooms in a brown butter-lemon sauce or the magnificent Sautéed Soft Shell Crabs, cooked parchment crisp and moist within, you will be delighted.
For meat lovers the 21’ Burger* on a toasted Parker house bun, with frisée, preserved tomatoes, sautéed onions, haricots verts and a choice of potato; Mixed Grill of Game, wild boar chop, Mangalitsa sausage, bacon-wrapped rabbit, braised Tuscan kale, white turnips, in a grain mustard and Cognac reduction or the renown Speakeasy” Steak Tartare* with mixed greens,Champagne vinaigrette and rye toast are all superb.
Desserts, by Pastry Chef Kimberly Bugler, are lush and improve with each visit. I loved the Chocolate Blackberry Vacherin with apricot coulis, a decadent Peaches & Cream Sundae with sour cream ice cream, sautéed peaches and lemon crispies, all Housemade Ice Creams, Apple Crumb Pie with walnut streusel topping and the best Cookies and Candy imaginable.
Any of the helpful sommeliers, (Philip W. Pratt has been aboard for years), can find you a glass of terrific Champagne or wine that will accommodate any budget.Two Champagnes we suggest, if available:1/2 bottle of the lively Laurent-Perrier “Brut” N.V. $42, or a surprisingly affordable Champagne Aubry Brut Rose Jouy-les-Reims Premier Cru: This grower-Champagne from brothers Pierre and Philippe Aubry is a clear peach color, with a frothy mousse that falls back fairly fast, leaving a persistent bubble stream. 60% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 15% Assemblage Pinot Meunier. A fabulous find! The rest of the encyclopedic list is a joy and other discoveries abound.
The reception at “21” by Mark "Shaker" Naini (another fixture), is warm and welcoming and “21” remains one of America’s great restaurants that truly RATES its reputation as well as an A Major on the Walman Report.
Pastry Chef Kimberly Bugler
Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.
The incomparable Bar Room, with its ceiling of suspended toy airplanes, trucks, basketballs and the like is the ultimate club. Framed by walls filled with cartoons created by artists such as Peter Arno and Whitney Darrow, Jr., the first "toy" to don the ceiling of ’21’s famed Bar Room in the early 30s was a model of British Airways "Flying Boat".
Not to be outdone, Howard Hughes promptly donated one of his new TWA planes. Soon, the ceiling was awash with model planes from other airlines: American, Eastern, PanAm, United and South African. There are red leather banquettes, a huge wood bar, wood floors, bar chairs and walls covered in mahogany. A charming clubby waiting area, where cocktails can be enjoyed precedes this.
Executive Chef, John Greeley, completed an education in art and design. He then returned to New York City and began working at the ’21’ Club, and was quickly promoted to sous-chef. In 2002, he became opening sous-chef of the Upstairs at ’21’, and is currently chef. Mr.. Greeley’s style is direct and straightforward, blending elements from American, French and Italian cuisines, while avoiding the overworked fusion confusion. Orient Express is a collage of words that transcends the au currant buzz “branding.” It is a name synonymous with quality and “21” is a jewel in its crown. _______________________________________________
A La Carte Dinner Menu (See Website for Updates)
$5 parking available with dinner reservations
American Hackleback Caviar 60/oz North Lights Caviar 90/oz
Royal Sterling Caviar 125/oz
Oysters and Clams 3.50/each
Blue Points Malpeque Saint Simon Watch Hill Kusshi
Jumbo Poached Shrimp 3.75/each
Clayton’s Jumbo Lump Crabmeat* 28
Chilled Senegalese Soup*, diced chicken, green apples, curry, cream
Mixed Greenhouse Greens, heirloom cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, golden beets, goat cheese, cabernet vinaigrette
Chilled Jumbo Asparagus, Benton’s ham, hearts of palm, butter lettuce, roasted peppers, spring garlic aioli
Beefsteak Tomatoes, layered with crispy pancetta, blue cheese, green leaf lettuce, croutons, sherry vinaigrette
‘21’ Caesar Salad*, romaine, aged Parmesan, garlic croutons
Ahi Tuna Tartare, yuzu kosho, shiso, black radishes, taro root chips
Grass Fed Beef Carpaccio, ruccola, deviled quail egg, ramps, Meyer lemon vinaigrette
Artichoke and Goat Cheese Terrine, Mâche, eggplant and caper caponata, peppers, aged balsamic
Grilled Octopus, warm corona and wax bean salad, roasted cubanelle peppers, chipotle powder, lemon vinaigrette
Cornmeal Crusted Crab Cake*, purple basil, marinated zucchini and patty pans, serano pepper oil
Seared Foie Gras, toasted brioche, peppercress, rhubarb compote, strawberry-papaya sauce
Vegetable Tasting, grilled portobellos and roasted eggplant tower, faro and roasted beet stuffed piquillo pepper,
heirloom tomato stuffed with corn, okra, ramps, favas
Lobster “Cobb” Salad, chopped lobster, smoked bacon, avocado, green oak lettuce, tomatoes, creamy buttermilk dressing
Grilled Steelhead Salmon, quinoa with artichokes and orange, pea shoots, olive purée
Sautéed Striped Bass, saffron potatoes, favas, okra, pear tomatoes, crayfish sauce
Potato-Crusted Chatham Cod, smoked bacon, corn, ramps, sautéed king oyster mushrooms, brown butter-lemon sauce
Dover Sole*, grilled or sautéed, white and green asparagus, Champagne sauce
Crispy Seared Organic Chicken, pan-fried Adirondack potatoes, Bloomsdale spinach, natural jus
Creamy Chicken Hash*, Mornay sauce, Bloomsdale spinach, Gruyère crust, toast or wild rice
‘21’ Burger*, toasted Parker house bun, frisée, preserved tomatoes, sautéed onions, haricots verts, choice of potato
Mixed Grill of Game, wild boar chop, Mangalitsa sausage, bacon-wrapped rabbit, braised Tuscan kale, white turnips,
grain mustard and Cognac reduction
“Speakeasy” Steak Tartare*, mixed greens with Champagne vinaigrette, rye toast, prepared to your request
Grilled Filet Mignon, roasted fingerling potatoes, pencil asparagus, spring onions, morel jus
21 Day Dry Aged Sirloin, Yukon and purple potato gratin with blue cheese, sautéed tri color carrots, fried onions,
red wine reduction
Stewed Okra with Tomato ● Creamed Spinach ● Fava Bean Succotash ●
Chilled or Grilled Asparagus • Roasted Purple and Fingerling Potatoes • French Fries
Fricassée of Wild Mushrooms ● Pommes Soufflées
Executive Chef John Greeley
* Denotes ‘21’ Classics
Pre Fixe Dinner $40
a selection of ‘21’ classics
horseradish-potato puree, pencil asparagus,
herbed red wine butter
Spinach and Mushroom Salad
marinated grilled mushrooms, pancetta,
avocado, egg, cabernet vinaigrette
Grilled Pork Belly
potato salad, peach and honey BBQ sauce
snap peas, purple mustard
Smoked Steelhead Salmon
butter lettuce, corn jalapeños,
yuzu, lime, cilantro
paccheri, mussels, shrimp, calamari
zucchini, bortaga, shellfish sauce
braised lima beans, fennel and Tokyo
turnips, pea shoots, tarragon, lemon
Seared Organic Chicken Breast
wild rice with confit leg, peas, marjoram,
lemon pan jus
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée, lavender lemon shortbread
Strawberry Key Lime Pie, toasted meringue
Sicilian Pistachio Torte, milk chocolate mousse, pistachio Anglaise
Beverages, tax and gratuity not included
Menu subject to change.
‘21’ is proud to be one of only 7 New York City recipients of Wine Spectator’s Grand Award.
Our Grand Award winning wine list features over 125 selections under $60.
Chocolate Blackberry Vacherin, apricot coulis
Peaches & Cream Sundae, sour cream ice cream, sautéed peaches and lemon crispies
Mint Brownie Tart, mint chocolate crunch ice cream and phyllo crisps
New York Cheesecake, graham crust, coconut water, tropical Compote, passionfruit reduction
Vanilla Ice Cream Profiteroles, dark chocolate sauce
Apple Crumb Pie, walnut streusel topping, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce
Valencia Rice Pudding, sundried cherries, apricots, whipped cream
Crème Brûlée, candied ginger shortbread
Selection of Sorbets and Ice Creams
Grand Marnier Soufflé, crème chantilly, medley of berries
Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé, vanilla roasted strawberries & strawberry cheesecake ice cream
Selection of Artisanal Cheeses
3 for 16.00
5 for 22.00
Pastry Chef – Kimberly Bugler
Of 1,300 selections over 125 wines are priced under $60.
For 80 years, ’21’ has been committed to providing guests with the world’s finest wines and spirits. The Grand Award winning wine list consists of nearly 1,300 selections and represents more than 30 viticultural regions spread over 15 countries from around the globe.
New to wine or looking to stay within a specific budget? With 21 wines by glass and over 125 bottles under $60, there is something for everyone. In addition, an “Opportunities” section showcases a selection of fine wines that we have in excess stock available at unmatched prices. Incredible values can be found!