There were many moments when I traveled to a country or dined at a notable restaurant, and I made it just in time. I had either missed a natural disaster, an act of violence, or in this case the closure of a legendary restaurant prior to the pandemic. My father and others who know me, tell me that I have a lucky streak or intuition on going to places that are about to shutter. I cannot confirm nor deny that but in this case, I was not expecting the illustrious 21 Club to shut down after 90 years. #DamnYouCoronaVirus
I had written this blog on 21 with the expectation of posting it when they opened. Well, as of now they never will, at least in its current incarnation. I am still posting this, the way I originally wrote it. I am glad that I was able to take my adult daughter to this legendary restaurant just three months before we all shut down due to the pandemic. I never got to visit 21’s famed Wine Cellar and was hoping to do so once they re-opened. Well, life goes on…
My original blog, with the expectation of the 21 Club reopening:
For as long as I can remember, I had been wanting to dine at 21, which was located in the heart of New York City. Considering that I am fond of anything ‘classic’, the first times that I heard the 21 Club referenced was through old songs and movies. On one of my many visits to New York, I made it a priority to dine here with my adult daughter during the Christmas holidays.
The hangout of choice for New York’s elite the Bar Room is cut from legendary cloth. Saunter up to the mahogany bar and order a tequila, just as Hemingway did before you.
A collection of whimsical ‘toys’ remains suspended from the ceiling; each one a gift from esteemed sports stars, presidents and celebrities. The smashed tennis racquet? That’s John McEnroe’s.– 21 Club Website
The 21 Club goes back a long ways, as it used to be a Speak Easy during prohibition and has since held the wine collections of many notables. I was hoping to tour the Wine Cellar while I was there but it was not available to view. I figured that on my next visit to this prestigious restaurant, I may get that lucky chance for the wine cellar viewing.
Apart from the 21 Club having an illustrious history and blended clientele consisting of politicians, celebrities, gastronomes and curious tourists; this sumptuous restaurant and bar serves an enticing and flavorful classic menu.
—— On the Table ——
— Oysters —
Half Dozen Oysters on a bed of crushed ice, served with squeezed lemon, mignonette and cocktail sauce.
— Maple-Berry Mule —
Grey Goose La Vanille, Blackberry-Maple Purée, Lemon, Ginger Beer
— Bread Basket —
Fresh seeded bread and butter
— Coq au Vin —
A classic French dish of stewed chicken, red wine and mushrooms, and accompanied with sweet potato mash.
— Salmon —
My daughter’s seared fresh salmon filet, which she enjoyed immensely.
— Baked Alaska —
Pear Nougat Glace and Grand Mariner, then set on fire!
— Assorted Homemade Cookies and Chocolates —
At the end of our tasteful and superb meal, we were then offered a silver pedestal of in-house made chocolates and cookies.
The 21 Club was a unique and magnificent dining experience for my daughter and I. We had an extraordinary lunch at 21, with friendly and impeccable service from everyone including the host, servers, manager and the mixologist. It was a grand and memorable time at 21, one of New York’s finest restaurants.
There is a dress code at the 21 Club, so please make note of that. Jeans and sneakers are not allowed passed the bar area and a dinner jacket is required for men. Shorts and flip flops are not allowed in the bar area, as it is business casual. Truthfully, I appreciate this dress code only to keep things formal and non distracting. Call me “classic” but I do like gentlemen sporting a fashionable dress jacket.
For restaurant information and reservations, please visit – 21 Club
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre