’21’ Reins as One of America’s Great Restaurant Classics

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21 W. 52nd Street (Between 5th & 6th Avenues). (212) 582-7200. Website: http://www.21club.com 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

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Once a glamorous speakeasy, today ’21’ is one of the most celebrated restaurants in New York City.

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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, the amazing Christopher Smith, and some of the most professional service and best food in town.

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Executive Chef, John Greeley (Above)

While prices are not inexpensive (although no more than many less impressive restaurants around town), a $42 pre-fixe dinner ($37 pre-fixe lunch) qualifies as 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, pickled cucumbers, yuzu, ginger, miso dressing, taro chips or a succulent Sautéed Pork Belly, with sweet potato purée, pickled cabbage and cider reduction.

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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 asparagus and an elegant Champagne sauce, or Sautéed Arctic Char, with roasted potatoes, Bloomsdale spinach, crispy capers, in a light mustard sauce, you will be delighted.

For meat lovers the ‘21’ Burger on toasted Parker House bun, frisée, preserved tomatoes, sautéed onions, haricots verts and French fries; Chef Greeley’s Signature Mixed Grill, of wild boar chop, elk, Millbrook venison, rabbit sausage, with Brussels sprouts and huckleberry jus or the renown Speakeasy Steak Tartare with mixed greens,Champagne vinaigrette and rye toast are all superb.

One of the best dishes on the menu is also the value-oriented Roasted Organic Chicken with Tuscan spices, chanterelles and Tokyo turnips. Plump, moist and crispy, it is sheer perfection. Don’t mill the only interpretation of  the venerable Pommes Soufflées  that  ever made the grade in our book. A puff of air with a parchment exterior, they are absolute heaven.

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Desserts, by  are lush. I loved the the feathery Grand Marnier and Chocolate Soufflés, all Housemade Ice Creams, and  Apple Crumb Pie, with walnut streusel topping, vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

And the helpful and knowledgeable  sommelier 21-somillier Philip W. Pratt, who has has been aboard for years, can find you a glass of terrific Champagne or wine that will accommodate any budget. One Champagne we suggest, if available, is the 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.

 

Copyright 2013 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

 

History, Menus

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.

DAZZLING DÉCOR

Wine cellar

Raids by police and federal tax officers during the Prohibition Era were persistent and frequent. This led many club owners to go to great lengths to hide their illegal liquor. Jack and Charlie did just that when they employed architect Frank Buchanan to design a complex system of camouflaged doors, invisible chutes, revolving bars and a secret wine cellar to hide and destroy the evidence.

Rather cleverly, the wine cellar was not actually part of the ’21’ building at all, but the basement of No. 19 next door. So when the authorities asked the bar staff if they had any liquor on the premises, they could honestly say no! In reality, it housed 2,000 cases of wine, including the private collections of Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Mae West, Eva Gabor and Aristotle Onassis.

Today, it’s filled with some of the finest wines in the world, including Montrachet 1898, Petrus ’82, Romanee-Conti 1880 and Chateau Lafite-Rothschild—no wonder it’s widely considered to be one of the world’s most coveted private dining rooms.

The Toys

There are few more unique or tantalizing ceiling-scapes anywhere in the world. Every inch is occupied with a fabulous array of sporting and industrial memorabilia, all donated by patrons. There’s a model of a PT-109 torpedo boat from President John F. Kennedy, baseball bat from Willie Mays, a replica of Air Force One from President Clinton, tennis racquets from Chris Evert and John McEnroe—even a golf club from Jack Nicklaus.

The Jockeys

Standing guard on the balcony above the entrance to ’21’ is a group of ornamental jockeys, all donated by some of the best-known stables in American thoroughbred racing.

Sportsman, entrepreneur and long-time patron, Jay van Urk, presented ’21’ with its first jockey in the early 1930s and his quirky ‘present’ soon caught on with similar donations from the likes of the Vanderbilt, Mellon and Ogden Mills Phipps families.

Iron Gate

The wrought-iron gate outside ’21’ is as much a part of the fabric of this New York establishment as the secret wine cellar and the celebrity clientele.

The gate itself actually dates back to 1926 when Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns moved their Club Fronton from 88 Washington Place to 42 West 49th Street. The new bar was called The Puncheon (and a host of other names to confuse federal tax men!). But no sooner had the doors opened than they received notice that the Rockefeller Center was going to be built on the site, so Jack and Charlie received $11,000 from the landowner to vacate.

On January 1, 1930, with the help of a few patrons, they unhinged the gate from the doorway of No. 42 and installed it three blocks north at 21 West 52nd Street. ’21’ was officially opened.

A La Carte Dinner Menu (See Website for Updates)

 

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À LA CARTE

Dinner menu served in the Bar Room

CAVIAR

American Hackleback Caviar  60/oz     

North Lights Caviar 90/oz     

Royal Sterling Caviar 125/oz

OYSTERS AND CLAMS

Blue Points ● Malpeque ● Saint Simon ● Watch Hill ● Kusshi ● Cherrystones ● Littlenecks  3.50 each

APPETIZERS

Chilled Senegalese Soup, grilled chicken, green apples, leeks, curry, cream  14

Green Oak Salad, roasted beets, fried goat cheese, toasted walnut dressing,

                     balsamic reduction  16

‘21’ Caesar Salad, romaine, aged Parmesan, garlic croutons    18

Ahi Tuna Tartare, pickled cucumbers, yuzu, ginger, miso dressing, taro chips 19

Beefsteak Tomatoes, layered with smoked bacon, blue cheese, green leaf
                     lettuce, croutons, aged sherry dressing    19

Grilled Portobellos, artichokes, roasted beets, bacon vinaigrette  18

Chilled Poached Shrimp, artichoke barigoule, romano beans, basil,  

                     pickled tomato vinaigrette   21

Clayton’s Jumbo Lump Crabmeat, Bibb lettuce, marinated tomatoes and
                     peppers  28

Cornmeal-Crusted Crab Cake, wax beans, dill butter, chili oil, micro greens   24

Chilled Maine Lobster, avocado, hearts of palm, long beans, gem lettuce,

                     peanut dressing  24

Pan-Roasted Oysters, cauliflower, baby leeks, pancetta, horseradish cream  20

Sautéed Pork Belly, sweet potato purée, pickled cabbage, cider reduction  19

MAIN COURSES

Vegetable Tasting, eggplant stuffed piquillo pepper, faro with wild mushrooms,

                     roasted carrots  34

Seared Sea Scallops, white bean and clam risotto, cauliflower,

                     grilled Meyer lemon  42

Sautéed Arctic Char, roasted potatoes, Bloomsdale spinach, crispy capers,

                     mustard sauce  38

Grilled Swordfish, Fava bean purée, caramelized Japanese eggplant,
                     lemon cucumbers 41

Dover Sole, grilled or sautéed, asparagus, lemon-brown butter sauce   65

Roasted Organic Chicken, Tuscan spices, chanterelles, Tokyo turnips  35

Chef Greeley’s Signature Mixed Grill, wild boar chop, elk, Millbrook venison,

                     rabbit sausage, Brussels sprouts, huckleberry jus  46

Creamy Chicken Hash, mornay sauce, Bloomsdale spinach, Gruyère crust,

                     toast or wild rice    37

‘21’ Burger, toasted Parker House bun, frisée, preserved tomatoes, sautéed 

                     onions, haricots verts, French fries    32

“Speakeasy” Steak Tartare, mesclun greens with Champagne vinaigrette,  

                     rye toast,prepared to your request    38

14 oz. 28 Day Dry-Aged, Corn-Fed Prime New York Sirloin, baby carrots,
                     fennel  65

10 oz. Center Cut Filet Mignon, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, zucchini   52

SIDE ORDERS

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta ● Crispy Onion Rings ● Creamed Spinach ● Sautéed Broccoli Rabe ● Roasted Fingerlings ● Grilled Heirloom Peppers ● Potato Purée ● French Fries  10

Fricassée of Wild Mushrooms ● Pommes Soufflées  15

DESSERTS

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake, orange reduction

Frangipane Tartlet, seasonal fruit, crumble 

New York Cheesecake, maple poached pear and figs, cinnamon whipped cream

Vanilla Ice Cream Profiteroles, dark chocolate sauce

Apple Crumb Pie, walnut streusel topping, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce

Valencia Rice Pudding, golden raisins, apricots, whipped cream

Classic Crème Brûlée, ginger tuile 

Selection of Sorbets and Ice Creams

10.50

Grand Marnier Soufflé,  crème chantilly, medley of berries

Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé,  raspberry coulis, vanilla ice cream 

13.50

Selection of Artisanal Cheeses

3 for 16

5 for 22

Executive Chef John Greeley

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PRE-THEATRE DINNER

Available Monday – Saturday in the Bar Room or Upstairs at ’21’

APPETIZERS

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho

vegetable tortellini, rock shrimp

Grilled Shrimp

pickled nectarine and baby pepper ‘chutney, cucumber salad, pea greens

Chopped Summer Salad

Gem lettuce, Crenshaw melon, shaved country ham, pickled ramp vinaigrette

MAIN COURSES

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

butter beans, green beans, herbed fingerling potatoes, honey-peach gastrique

Sesame Crusted Salmon

kale, edamame, cucumber, miso dressing

Roasted Organic Chicken Breast

Roma and wax bean salad, grilled corn, roasted peppers, toasted pine nut dressing

DESSERTS

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée 

ginger tuile, mixed berries

Devil’s Food Crunch Cake

chocolate pearls, raspberry purée

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

crumble, vanilla ice cream

$42 per person
Beverages, tax and gratuity not included.

Menu subject to change.

Reservations seated by 6:30pm

Executive Chef John Greeley

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PRIX FIXE LUNCH

Available Tuesday – Friday in the Bar Room

APPETIZERS

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho

eggplant ratatouille

Grilled Shrimp

pickled nectarine and baby pepper ‘chutney, cucumber salad, pea greens

Chopped Summer Salad

Gem lettuce, Crenshaw melon, shaved country ham, pickled ramp vinaigrette


MAIN COURSES

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

butter beans, green beans, herbed fingerling potatoes, honey-peach gastrique

Sesame Crusted Salmon

kale, edamame, cucumber, miso dressing

Roasted Organic Chicken Breast

Roma and wax bean salad, grilled corn, roasted peppers, toasted pine nut dressing


DESSERTS

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée

ginger tuile, mixed berries

Devil’s Food Crunch Cake

chocolate pearls, raspberry purée

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

crumble, vanilla ice cream

$37 per person

Beverages, tax and gratuity not included. 

Menu subject to change.

Executive Chef John Greeley


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!

The ’21’ Club features 10 unique rooms throughout the 4 floors of this iconic New York property. Standout rooms include the historical Prohibition-era wine cellar and the true heart of ’21’, the legendary Bar Room.

The past few years have certainly been busy for the 84-year old ’21’ Club.   In Fall 2011 Bar ’21’ was unveiled, welcoming a bar and lounge on the ground floor serving approachable yet refined bar food by Executive Chef John Greeley. Bar ’21’ features a 10-seat bar that opens up unto the current lounge area, blending an already popular watering hole with a more approachable vibe, inviting in the new generation of ’21’ customers. 
Then last Fall 2012 the iconic destination put in a $1.7 million renovation on two of their private dining spaces, elevating the existing Puncheon Room and debuting the new Gallery. When joined these rooms can seat up to 250 people and host a standing reception of 400.  They are highly in demand for weddings, anniversary parties, corporate affairs and the like.

Perfectly positioned in midtown Manhattan, ’21’ is in the center of it all, this iconic Orient-Express property offers superb American cuisine, a Grand Award-winning wine list, and attentive service in a setting that is sophisticated yet fun.

Bar ’21’
Perfect for a light lunch or cocktails before dinner and pre-theatre, Bar ’21’ offers an array of lunch fare and gourmet snacks, artisanal beers on tap, signature cocktails, 21 wines by the glass, and a wide selection of single malt scotches, cognacs and ports.
Ideal for people watching and rubbing elbows with some of Gotham’s most famous faces, the lounge features a wood-burning fireplace, relaxed lighting, comfortable high-back wing chairs, plush couches and banquettes.
Bar ’21’ Hours:
Lunch
Tuesday – Friday: 12:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Bar Bites & Cocktails
Monday – Friday: 4:00 P.M. to close
Saturday: 5:00 P.M. to close
Dress code: Business casual. Jeans and sneakers are not permitted.

Bar Room
The heart of ’21’ is its legendary Bar Room. The watering hole of celebrities, captains of industry, world leaders and dignitaries of every order, the Bar Room is also renowned for its "toy" collection of colorful sports memorabilia and corporate logo items presented as gifts to the restaurant. Discover the favorite tables of some of our celebrity "regulars."
Under the culinary direction of Chef John Greeley, the Bar Room’s menu features both classic and contemporary American cuisine accented by quality regional ingredients. A la carte and prix fixe menus are served.
Service is attentive but discreet. A Grand Award winning wine list is available to complement any meal. The Bar Room may also be used for dine-arounds and large receptions in combination with the entire house to accommodate up to 800.
Lunch 
Tuesday – Friday: Noon to 2.30 pm
Dinner
Monday – Thursday: 5.30 pm to 10 pm
Friday & Saturday: 5.30 pm to 11 pm
Dress code: Jackets are necessary for gentlemen. Jeans and sneakers are not permitted. 

Upstairs at ’21’
Upstairs at ’21’ is an elegant 32-seat restaurant located one flight up from our world-famous Bar Room. This room is also available for private events. (Please call 212.582.1400 for private event pricing and details).
You’ll find inspired cuisine in an exquisite salon-like setting framed by vivid murals of four New York landmarks set in the mid-1930s.  Brooklyn-based artist Wynne Evans created the murals especially for Upstairs at ’21’.
This intimate room envelops diners in a warm glow as detailed, attentive service pairs with creative dishes and outstanding wine to create an enchanting and memorable evening to be savored for years to come.
Upstairs has been welcomed by critics and diners alike being voted Best New Restaurant in 2003 and acclaimed as one of the most romantic places to enjoy dinner in New York City.
Restaurant Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday: 5.30 pm to 10 pm
Dress code: Jackets are necessary for gentlemen. Jeans and sneakers are not permitted.

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