Trip back in time.
Had the can't miss Ceasar and a Hamburger before a show -- and they didn't. Hadn't had a gin rickey in years, but ordered a classic, perfectly poured. My older guests from the midwest had never been to 21, and loved the ambience, and by Midwest standards their food ... a so so pork belly and over vegetabled risotto.
Service couldn't have been more accomodating (at least 6 different faces serving, taking orders, checking back. ) One waiter regaled the table with tales of the old days, Sinatra, Douglas, Peck and wives at one table 3 am in the morning. As we left, two doyenes sat down, obviously hadn't been there in years, but were amazed that the MD remembered them and their drinks.
But time has taken its toll. The bar room was almost empty, albeit for an early curtain on a Tuesday night. And the self same waiter bemoaned the new days, prix fixe, etc.
Alas, this New York institution may be destinted to follow the way of Tavern on the Green, Cafe des Artistes, Lutece, etc. The gem has become a chestnut. Ala PJ Clarks, they need to makeover the tired menu and capitalize on the brand. After all, Mad Men has made mid century trendy.
In fact, as I sipped my rickey, was that Don Draper laughing with Conrad Hilton at the bar?