21 Club (and other midtown restaurants)

Dec 13th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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21 Club (and other midtown restaurants)

Thinking about 21 Club (also Il Tinello, Oceana, Isle of Capri, and The Sea Grill) for New Year's Eve. The menu looks great, and it looks like fun. Very New York. However, in order to make reservations I have to pay in advance, which I find a little odd. Is this normal? Is 21 worth it?
We pretty much have it narrowed down (HA!) to those restaurants. It's final decision making time.
TexasGirlTravels is offline  
Dec 13th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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For NYE, expect to have to put down a deposit for a reservation at most good restaurants.
MikeT is offline  
Dec 13th, 2006, 02:17 PM
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Not unusual at all to pay a deposit or in full "upfront for NYE. Expect the restaurant to be overly crowded with sub-standard service, not your typical "21 Club" experience. The same will hold true for just about every restaurant in mid-town Manhattan on NYE. It's not the best night to dine out.
A_Traveller is offline  
Dec 13th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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I hope if you go to 21, you can eat in the main "saloon" room, not sent off in exile to the dull upstairs dining room.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Dec 13th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Will it make a difference that we're eating earlier than the NYE party crowd? Wherever we go, we're going to eat at the earlier service, between 6 and 7:30, not at the late-night seating that goes past midnight. We really just want to have a nice dinner. I know wherever we go will be very crowded, but we've gotta eat! (o:
TexasGirlTravels is offline  
Dec 13th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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Eating earlier on New Years DOES make a difference - at least in my experience. We've learned to eat around 6:30 or 7 and get home by 8:30 or so (fuddy-duddys that we are).The service is less harried, and most places still offer their regular menu or a slimmed down version of it. We've actually had wonderful NYE's at The Red Cat, Wallse, Cookshop, Mesa Grill - Check out www.opentable.com and it lists NYE restaurants and info.
mp is offline  
Dec 13th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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"21" is an institution and has been a power brokers' scene for a few decades now. The food is good and I think the best among the restaurants you mentioned (although Oceana is good seafood). Service is amazing but it can be a bit snobbish- if waiters recognize you (a regular or celeb) they'll whisk you to your preferred table/party, others don't feel as royal... but service is always impeccable.
The average age in the place is probably >50 , & the general atmosphere is somewhat pompous; (put enough power brokers in 1 room & that's what you get). Jacket & tie required, NYE or not. Don't know if those are issues for you. In short, you should go to 21 for experiencing a renowned NY restaurant with a great history & a holier than thou scene but not if you're looking for a down to earth place that's more of a foodie joint. You can certainly claim to have "been there, done that!" in the new year.
mdn is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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Please eliminate Isle of Capri. It's ok but nothing special. All the rest have something to offer.

Paying in advance (or a non refundable deposit) is not unusual for NYE. Otherwise people would make several reservations, decide which one to use at the last minute and leave the others holding the bag.

Do I gather you're doing this before the New Year Nation party? If yes, there are plenty of places near there.

I also have to agree with mp's suggestions. They will be more "locals" kind of places although not in midtown. If you're going to eat early and don't plan on going to the party, you shouldn't have a problem finding a cab.
mclaurie is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Red Cat is one of my favortie restaurants, and it feels very "New York" to me. Cookshop is also very good, and located right near Red Cat in West Chelsea. They are not formal, however, if you are looking for something like that.
lizziea06 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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We're actually not going to do the New Year's Nation party. I know, I know, we're young, but that's really just not our thing. That's one reason we're eating early, to avoid the main crowds. We're going to go to our hotel bar after dinner.

Thank you for the advice about Isle of Capri! Joan Rivers (yeah, I know) mentioned it on her blog, but I've read such mixed reviews about it that I wasn't sure.

I think we're pretty much set on going to 21 for NYE, at the early seating. It's such a New York institution, and I think it'll be a lot of fun. Definitely going to reserve in the Bar Room.

Thank you all so much for your help! If you have any more advice, please let me know! I seriously don't think I could plan this trip without these forums!!
TexasGirlTravels is offline  
Dec 15th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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I LOVE eating at 21 Club. You can feel the power in the room.

Order the burger, it is like no other! The sauce/ketchup for the fries is divine!
Dec 15th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Hey Texas:

I saw that you had Il Tinello on your list. That was one of my favorite Italian resturants when I had my expense account fully loaded. Excellent service and food. Say "Hi" to the Matre-d Mario!! If he is still there...a real class act
bmw732002 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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That's great to know about Il Tinello! It seems like a more locals-type place, so we might try that instead on NYE. There are so many great restaurants in NYC it's impossible to decide! (o:
TexasGirlTravels is offline  
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