‘21’ 21 W 52nd St (btwn 5th/6th Aves) 212 582-7200 21club.com
Perhaps we’re not quite 21 anymore, but ‘21’ remains ageless. At least one of the good things about growing older is being able to duck out of the office from time to time for an illicit lunch and perhaps knock back a few dry Martinis. The storied ‘21’ Club is the perfect place to do just that—and there are colorful jockey statues to greet you at the door! ‘21’ is expensive to be sure and although the $30 burger off the menu might be considered a little excessive at lunch time (or any time for that matter), $30 also gets you a three-course prix fixe that is hard to beat.
Remember in All About Eve when Margo and Karen planned to meet at ‘21’ for lunch—with hats on? Too gorgeous. How about when Grace Kelly ordered a lobster dinner from the joint for the house-bound Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window and the elegant waiters brought it right into the apartment, table, chafing dishes and all. ‘21’ is like that, more than happy to comply with their patrons’ wishes without the attitude like some of the upstarts that have filtered through the city over the years. They don’t need to. It’s ‘21’ for God’s sake.
In the cozy dining room, by the bar on the main floor, checkerboard cloths cover the tables and all manner of things are strung up on the ceiling such as toy trucks and planes, and other bric-a-brac, gently lit by glowing lanterns. The whole atmosphere is much more casual than the other proper dining rooms above—but jacket and tie are still required, and should you have left yours in a cab or somewhere, they are kindly provided. Hats optional!
Prix Fixe Luncheon Menu
Appetizers Seasonal Soup, a selection of ‘21’ classics Romaine and Radicchio Salad cherry tomatoes, celery, shaved Parmesan, pomery mustard vinaigrette Cured Mahi Mahi with watermelon, mizuna, radish and citrus dressing Grilled Calamari olive purée, pickled cucumber salad, black garlic
Main Courses Horseradish-Crusted Salmon warm summer bean salad, smoked bacon, red spring onions, lemon emulsion Smoked Pork Belly honey vinegar glaze, pulled pork, sweet potatoes, corn, roasted poblano peppers Spring Vegetable Risotto peas, asparagus, zucchini, aged Parmesan, truffle butter Grilled Organic Chicken Breast hominy, sautéed spinach, lemon, natural jus
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox