21 W 52nd St, New York, NY | Directions 1001940.760385 -73.977670
Monday To Friday From 12:00 PM To 02:30 PM Monday To Saturday From 05:30 PM To 11:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Midtown Center, Midtown
Reviewing 21 is like reviewing Mount Rushmore; it doesn't matter what you say, because it's a national monument. The last and greatest of the great speakeasies of the 1920s, it morphed into one of the supreme power scenes of midcentury New York and still has much of its old power. The food is much better than you might expect, and if you want a definitive martini, this is the place to have it.
"21" is one of my favorite historic clubs in the world - from the moment I see the Jockey's saluting, and step through the 1926 iron gate into this magical era where I am transformed back and celebrate the roaring 1920's in New York City - it feels like home to me, yet I'm to young to have participate in that era of prohibition with all its elegance and splendor. As I drink the perfect chilled martini in the perfect glass, taste the delicious Blue Points and indulged on Steak Tartare or Grilled Dover Sole, I visualize and hear the voices of the great gentlemen, NYC society women, and celebrities sitting at their tables dressed so elegant, listening to everyone's chatter of days business with Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns listening. Club 21 will always be a part of my memories, past, present, and future.
Midweek Treat – My friend and I decided to treat ourselves to lunch at 21 club. By Wednesday, it had already been a particularly trying week. We were completely pampered at 21club. They were warm and welcoming from beginning to end and we even received a free drink for making our res online. (Shhh, don't tell our boss :-)
We were delighted when the waiter told us they were featuring a special italian menu. apparently they have some visiting chefs in this week from sicily. Can you say "YUM"! Lobster risotto to die for with big hunks of lobster and the most incredible seven-layer chocolate cake that you have ever experienced. Thanks 21 club, you made the week sooooo much better.
Beware. Age discrimination – As a young professional, 37 , and avid 20's era antique collector my girlfriend and I were excited to dine at 21 club. We went to the finest clothing stores in NYC, spent a thousand dollars on clothes for us to wear out on her 34th B-day. Entering the restaurant with awesome Suit jacket, elegant dress and designer shoes just bought us a big disappointment. We were approached by the manager named "Shaker" and he was of middle eastern desent.
He was rude and very nasty. He did not consider my pants to be a suit. And after we begged him to let us dine and pled the case that we had planned this birthday dinner for weeks he treated us like Pleblians.
Its obvious that 21 club does not cater to the under 80 crowd. Felt judged that we were not old enough. and I have never been treated so poorly in my entire life.
"SHAKER" should be fired and this club should reconsider its policies. When were rejected from the 21 the security guy outside who deals with the cabs appologized and said that the guy is a racist and if you dont look old and rich they will find something with your attire to send you away. They dont care about the money. They are just snobs! the outside employee also told us that they reject professional athletes all the time. They just want old people and the regulars that grease them for the royal treatment.
what you do not know/alot of people go. – 21, great looking place, owed by the famous orient express wow,right,wrong.they must plant these reviews because plenty goes wrong and right. it looks nic e on the outside but take a look at there dirty kitchen and utensils. the new rating system has got them to clean up, talk about being forced,all that money they make. if you knew the character of the staff etxc you would not let them walk your dog never mind cook your food,they know no boundries.they are their to make money,great reputation carefully crafted, the hand sometimes can be quicker than the eye.great food lots of wow, they have had lots of practice.beautiful rooms alote of great people go there but some famous slime balls have gone their and it rubbed off.the all around quality is the question,including buisness practices. you will have a good time just do not close both eyes.this is all theater but what is'nt these days.if you like just good food and great atmoshere and do not care about the rest,go.alote of people do.
Always perfect – I've been going to the 21 Club occasionally for the last three years (I don't live in New York), and I have never had a bad experience.
The food is excellent and the service is efficient. When you're there to talk business, you don't want a chatty waiter hovering over you.
I particularly liked the schnitzel - it was a kitchen-sink pile of all the stuff that goes on different regional schnitzels (fried egg, ham, mushroom sauce, etc.).
They really value repeat business. On my mother's SECOND visit they greeted her by name and said "would you like your regular table?"
The toys on the ceiling are gifts from regulars - the airplanes and trucks are from the executives of the companies they represent, and the sports memorabilia are from owners and famous players.
Milk chocolate tart, creme brulee, smoked pork belly – Our reservation was 7:30pm, had to wait about 20 minutes for our table. The bar room was very interesting with all the hanging automotives and other knick knacks from the ceiling. Not sure what the story is behind that. The sound level was quite high.
The tables were packed very tightly next to each other making getting in and out of your seat a whole spectale of people moving the table for you. There were just so many different servers doing different things (water filling, place setting updating, etc.) in the confined space.
I tried the gazpacho, smoked pork belly and the milk chocolate tart. They were very, very good. The gazpacho was on the salty side for me. My friends tried the grilled calamari and sauteed salmon and finished the meal with the creme brulee and blueberry upside down cake.
All in all, I felt the menu selections under Restaurant Week to be very good. Took a glance at the a la carte menu and it seems to be very over-priced. Would I come back here other than Restaurant Week? No. would I come back for Restaurant Week? Probably not. I've been there, done that.
Don't *get* it – We went as a part of restaurant week, sat in the famous Bar room and to be honest, we didn't *get it*. The place was decorated with toy cars and trucks on the ceiling. I don't know, I really must have missed the point.
Would I go back...no. It was ridiculously overpriced for what we got. I did enjoy the staff in their white jackets and bow ties, though. Also, what restaurant has a Bloomberg terminal in the waiting area?
Either way, the food was tasty, the creme brulee was definitely one of my all time favorites, and the service was attentive to the letter. I liked that they seat you side by side and it was quite conducive for a romantic evening out.
Definitely a place to avoid – The theme of the decor downstairs is junk. If it weren't for all the uncomfortable people in suit jackets (don't try to take yours off - they will spank you) you might think you were at a TGIFridays at least until you saw the prices. They pack people in at the tables - we were 12 at a round table that would comfortably seat 7 or 8. I don't think they like anyone there. A very unpleasant experience. The restaurant week menu was very limited - none of it looked very appetizing. The salmon on the restaurant week menu was farmed while the salmon on the regular menu was wild caught. Feels like they are trying to drive new business away which should leave them with very few customers as the remaining few look pretty close to the grave.
21 club doesn't welcome Asian – This was my fourth dining during the restaurants week.
Food was good but the service was terrible. Contain was okay but the busboy was very rude. Two ladies set next to us. They came before us. She got the bill when she asked for it. When we just finished desserts, the busboy put the bill on our table. It sounded he couldn’t wait to kick us out. I guess they didn’t welcome Asian. I don’t think we will come back again.
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