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
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, the amazing Christopher Smith, 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 $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.
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.
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 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.