Ah, the 21 Club, a NYC institution. An old school, historical landmark of a restaurant, catering to the wealthy and touristy. I had known about this place for a while; it's famous. I knew a jacket was required, that's the type of place this is.
Well, it's also a place where my friend found a 30% off coupon on the Village Vines restaurant deal website, and that is the reason we went two weeks ago.
The place is very dark, and has many toy planes, cars, and other miniature toys hanging from the ceiling. It definitely has character and a vibe all to its own. The service is top notch too.
Of course my main focus when dining out is the food. The food at the 21 Club is pricey. In fact, it's overpriced and ridiculous. My "Clayton's Jumbo Lump Crabmeat", a 21 Club classic, cost $28. The dish was fine and fresh, but unless Natalie Portman caught the crab herself, $28 is ridiculous.
Even more ridiculously priced is the "21 Burger", another 21 Club classic. This burger, served on a toasted Parker house bun, with frisée, preserved tomatoes, sautéed onions, haricots verts, and choice of potato cost a whopping $30. I will say that it's a pretty fantastic burger. I had no problems with it and I thought it tasted great. But for $30, if Natalie Portman didn't grill it herself, it's quite ridiculous. It should have at least gotten me drunk- it didn't. A side of pommes soufflées, an airy, puffed up french fry, was interesting, salty, and nice.
Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé ($13.50), with vanilla roasted strawberries and strawberry cheesecake ice cream, was a fine, classical ending, to a fine and pricey meal.
Would I go back to the 21 Club? I might, as long as I wasn't paying. I will say that the place definitely has character, and it's a unique, historical, NYC experience. But, next time I dine on a burger that costs me $30, I expect at least a sexual favor in the bathroom for dessert. Classy.
21 West 52nd Street (bet. 5th and 6th)
New York, NY 10019