12-Dec-2020 • Literary
New York City's famous high-end restaurant the 21 Club is to close down for good. The historic location - which has served nearly every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt- has today shuttered its jockeys-guarded doors indefinitely, telling its 148 employees that it that they’ll all be fired in early March.
In "Diamonds Are Forever", Tiffany suggests they dine at 21. Bond has never been, but has heard of it, and he readily agrees. At their dinner, Bond and Tiffany are approached by Mac Kriendler, one of the owners of 21 at the time, who knows Tiffany personally. Mac laments that there is "too much expense account aristocracy", a phrase that Fleming reuses later in "007 In New York" when Bond reflects that it has inflated the prices and deflated the quality of the food.
In "007 In New York", Bond intends to order Beefeater Martini's with a domestic vermouth, shaken with a twist, however, when Tiffany and Bond eat here they order Martinis - shaken, not stirred - to start, followed by caviar, with a main of cutlets served with asparagus. They drink Clicquot Rosé pink champagne with their meal and finish with coffee and stingers made with white crème de menthe. Tiffany jokingly tells Bond that 21 is "all you can eat for $300." In 1956, $300 would be the equivalent to around $2,400 today. Good thing she's joking.