Time for a Toast: Women, Cast Your Ballots

Raise a Prohibition cocktail to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who drafted Amendment XIX. Enacted today in 1920, it gave American women the right to vote.

In 1878, Anthony and Stanton drafted an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would give American women the right to vote and introduced it to Congress, where it sat in limbo for over four decades.

Finally, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment took effect and there was much rejoicing. However, alcohol was illegal at the time, with Prohibition having just gone into effect seven months earlier, so any "legal" celebratiions had to be dry. Of course, we all know that didn’t stop the booze from flowing. And although supporters of suffrage generally endorsed the temperance movement, the right to vote gave rise to a new brand of post-World War I feminists who threw off constricting Victorian corsets to embrace the frisky, fun-loving flapper lifestyle. And that meant cigarettes, the Charleston and fastening a flask to your inner thigh to sneak booze into speakeasies.

LET’S GET DRUNK AND MAKE LOVE

The emerging feminism found a voice in The New Yorker‘s "Tables for Two" column, penned by Lois Long, who Cambridge historian Joshua Zeitz described in his 2007 book Flapper as "one of the most insightful observers of sex and style in Jazz Age America." Looking back at her life in the 1920s, Long later summed up the flappers’ fast-living philosophy: "All we were saying was, ‘Tomorrow we may die, so let’s get drunk and make love.’"

But not all literary ladies of the Roaring Twenties were so keen on the flapper movement. Dorothy Parker (who turned 27 just a few days before the 19th Amendment was enacted) took a jab at the fad in her poem, "The Flapper," saying that their "manners cause a scene." The Algonquin doyenne also expressed a more moderate—and infinitely more sensible—approach to quenching one’s thirst:

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
After four I’m under my host.”

So cheers to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who gave America the 19th Amendment—and an excellent reason to tipple through the Roaring Twenties.

MIX IT UP: THE SOUTH SIDE COCKTAIL

For a perfect Prohibition cocktail during summer’s last gasp, you can’t go wrong with the South Side. Though named after the Chicago district where it was a favorite of mobsters during the dry years, the drink’s exact origin is still contested. New York’s illustrious 21 Club, for example, has laid claim to it. They use the following recipe.

Ingredients

2 oz. vodka, gin or white rum
Juice of one lemon
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. fresh mint leaves

Method

Place ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well enough to bruise the mint leaves and release the mint oil.

Strain into a chilled collins glass filled with ice.

Garnish with mint leaves.

Enjoy!

BY THE NUMBERS

37 – Number of years the 19th Amendment lay dormant in Congress (a period known as "the doldrums")

31 – Number of votes by which the 19th Amendment won passage in the Senate

51 – Percent of U.S. population that is female

18 – Percent of Congressional seats currently held by women

10 – Amount, in dollars, in 1912, of the budget of the Washington, DC, office of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA)

41,368,000 – Number of Susan B. Anthony one-dollar coins minted

30,000 – Number of speakeasies in New York City during Prohibition

7,304,040 – Number of minutes Prohibition lasted

18,000,000 – Number of U.S. citizens who currently live in a dry county

Jitney, Schmitney: Hit Hamptons Mondays at 21 For An East End Experience on West 52nd

Ah, the Hamptons. Such glamor, such style, such a pain in the neck to get there. Don’t you wish you could have the same experience without actually leaving the city? The jacketed gents of the 21 Club totally feel you, and they’re making it easy to embrace those East End vibes without leaving West 52nd Street. Beginning July 29, the former speakeasy will host Hamptons Mondays, a new wine tasting series that brings the best wines of Long Island to your cozy little table at its Bar 21. 

Over the course of three Monday evenings, wines from noted vintners Bedell Cellars, Onabay Vineyards, and Pellegrini Vineyards will be paired with tasty bites from executive chef John Greeley, including lobster tacos, tuna tartare cones, barbecued shrimp, duck confit, and pepper-crusted ahi tuna. Hamptons-ey enough for you? If you’re totally blown away by these wines, reps from the various vineyards will be on hand to tell you all about them, and probably invite you out to see their grapevines and barrels and whatnot. 

Worried about that infamous 21 Club dress code? Don’t be. Given the breezy nature of these events, they’ve relaxed the rules so you can stroll on in barefoot and shirtless wearing a "summer chic" outfit that that’s both comfy and fashionable. Probably more of the latter, actually. 

A seat at Hamptons Mondays is cheaper that I expected. A mere 45 clams per person gets you wine, food, tax, and gratuity. Unless they’re super stingy on the pours and bites, that’s a pretty low price to get you into what’s long been one of the most exclusive haunts in the city. For reservations, call 212-582-7200.

[BlackBook New York Guide; BlackBook Hamptons Guide; Listing for 21 Club; More by Victor Ozols; Follow me on Twitter]

Hang Your Coat: 21 Club Goes Casual This Month

Starting today, 21 Club has loosened its cravat and relaxed its dress code, which means for the entire month of August you can hang your jacket up at home and hit up the iconic spot in your summer chic. The actual 21 Club dining area will be closed for the restaurant’s typical “summer vacation,” but the Bar ‘21’ and Lounge will remain open from 4:30 till around 11pm for anyone who wants to imbibe in style, but without their usual jackets-for-men policy. Based on a recent dress code piece I wrote, I assume they will also be lax on things like sneakers, though I wouldn’t attempt to wear jeans, guys.

But that’s not all for the Bar ‘21’; beginning next week, each Wednesday this month, they will host a series of free demonstrations at the bar (Bar ‘21′, as it is) between 6 and 8pm. On August 8, you can learn to make Mayan-style guacamole and ceviche while downing happy hour margaritas. August 15 features chef John Greeley, who will talk about making pulled pork sandwiches. If you want to learn about Buffalo wings, Greeley shows you how to make sauces and pairs them with summer brews. Finally, the last event of the summer showcases the venue’s bartenders and their mad mixology skills. After August, 21 Club reopens and the jackets have to come back on again. But that’s okay, but September it might be cool enough to need one.

Where Celebs Go Out: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes

1. Richard Gere, at the premiere of Brooklyn’s Finest: My favorite restaurant has to be the Bedford Post. 2. Don Cheadle: BOA, in L.A. 3. Ethan Hawke: Manganaro’s, on 9th Avenue. 4. Wesley Snipes: That’s gotta be home. My wife is an excellent cook! Where do I like to go? Oh, La Dinastia, the Cuban-Chinese restaurant on 72nd, near Broadway. 5. Hoda Kobt: I love 21 Club. I love Tabla. I love Shake Shack, just their burgers. ‘Cause the first time I saw a line, I thought, ‘Who would wait in a line this long for a burger?’ And then I realized, ‘I would.’ There’s something about the size, the texture; they’re moist, they’re delicious. And I like Kefi — on Columbus — the best, best Greek food ever, delicious.

6. Antoine Fuqua: Carmine’s. They have Carmine’s in New York and L.A. 7. Richard Belzer: I hang out in bed with my dog! West Branch is one of my favorites. It’s up here on the west side on 77th and Broadway. And all of Drew Nieporent’s restaurants. Yeah, I get around. 8. Wade Allain-Marcus: I go to a spot like Legion in Williamsburg. It’s a bar. It’s a beautiful thing. 9. Nicoye Banks: I like the Hudson. The Hudson’s always good. The Mandarin has a nice lounge on the 35th floor, if you really want to relax, look at Central Park, be smooth. Good restaurant — Parlor Steakhouse on 90th and 3rd. 10. Grizz Chapman: Actually, I work. I don’t really hang out too much. Favorite restaurant is The Palm, the one on the east side. Being that my diet has changed, my favorite dish would, probably, just be vegetables and chicken. 11. Kevin “Dot Com” Brown: I don’t get a chance to hang out, like I used to. I come to these events, and I never remember the name — I just follow the flyer; whatever address is there; I just follow the address. But I never remember the names of the venues. And when you’re not at an event? City Island. I go to Sammy’s — I go to Sammy’s seafood in City Island, and I overeat! 12. Andre Brown: I hang out at the Rose Bar, the GoldBar, Juliet — that’s about it. 13. Daymond John: Restaurants: I always go to Nobu, Blue Ribbon. Bars, I go to Tenjune. Clubs — well, Tenjune’s like a bar and a club — I go to the Greenhouse and I go to M2. 14. Shannon Kane: Wow! I don’t really hang out at a lot of clubs or anything like that, but I have some really great restaurants in L.A. One of them is El Cholo, a Mexican restaurant. Any favorite dish? The vegetarian burrito, and the fresh guacomole — they make right in front of you. 15. Michael Martin: I used to love Bar Code. It’s, actually, gone now. I love club Amnesia, great place. The Tunnel is gone now. Tammany Hall — that’s a great one. 16. Wendy Williams: Victor’s — Cuban food. 17. Sherri Shepherd: There’s a restaurant on 56th, between 8th and 9th called Bricco’s. And it’s just a nice, little family restaurant, and I go there with everybody because they got fresh Italian food, and the owner — oh, my gosh — he kisses you like you’re the most amazing woman in the world! 18. John D’Leo: John’s Pizzeria in the village has, probably, the best pizza in New York. 19. Carrie Lowell: Bedford Post — the restaurant we own. 20. Lili Taylor: I love Bar Pitti. I like the Cuban restaurant in Harlem on 125th. Sylvia’s Soulfood in Harlem. 21. Bethenny Frankel: I like Kraft. I like the Strip House. I like Abe and Arthur’s. I like steakhouses. I need meat on the bone. I need to feed the baby! 22. D’brickashaw Ferguson: Probably, Junior’s. In Brooklyn? Yeah, gotta represent! Other than the cheesecake, I’m a big fan of their barbecued chicken. 23. Ellen Barkin: I don’t have [a favorite restaurant]. 24. Lena Olin @ “Remember Me” premiere: My favorite restaurant in the city is Nobu! 25. Gregory Jbara: The Standard Grill right now is open now till four o’clock in the morning, and they have a phenomenal menu. They have great waitstaff and you can always get a great meal, after the rest of the town is shut down. I’d recommend the oysters. They have a phenomenal selection of east-coast oysters. Also, they serve an appetizer of dried-crust cheese with English radishes. And you look at it on the table and you go, ‘What am I supposed to do with that — plant a garden?!’ And then you taste it, and you go, ‘This is a brilliant, original way to start a meal.’ Corner Bistro has the best burgers, but, if you want the best glass of wine and want to sample wines, you go to Dell’anima, which is down just south of 14th on 8th Avenue. 26. Peyton List: I love going to Dylan’s Candy Bar. I always go there and get treats or chocolates. I, actually, love the bakery called “Baked.” They have the best Chocolate Cloud cookies. What’s that? It’s a chocolate cookie, and it’s really thick and I love it, ’cause it’s so chocolatey, and I love chocolate! 27. Greg Bello: Oh, Jesus! Oh, I can’t give away all those secrets; then everyone’s gonna find out and they’re not going to be hot anymore. I don’t know what to tell you! Actually, probably, the Boom Boom Room is the hottest room in the city right now. 28. Allen Coulter: Del Posto, Peasants, Ouest –said with a French accent, but I can’t do it, Barney Greengrass. 29. Tate Ellington: ‘Cause I live in the Williamsburg area, one of my favorite places is DuMont. DuMac and Cheese is one of the greatest meals I’ve had in New York. There’s a place called Barcade which is pretty wonderful, as far as a bar, but it’s gettin’ a little packed, nowadays, but it’s a good place and the bartenders are nice. Huckleberry Bar is a nice, little cocktail lounge. 30. Peggy Siegal: Oh, I like the Monkey Bar. I like the new Jean-Georges restaurant at The Mark Hotel. I like 21, the Four Seasons, Michael’s, the Waverly Inn, the Standard Hotel. What else have I missed? I don’t know. Any favorite dishes? No, I’m always on a diet!

New York: Top 10 Dishes to Chase Away Winter Chills

image10. Wiener schnitzel @ Klee Brasserie (Chelsea) – Daydream about being at a swank German/Austrian ski resort as you nosh on your schnitzel. 9. The ’21’ Burger @ 21 Club (Midtown West) – In the battle of the gourmet burger, this one takes the cake — especially paired with a bottle of wine from 21’s encyclopedia-esque list (it has a table of contents). 8. Pork shank vindaloo @ Tabla (Union Sqare) – Burn away the winter chill — literally — with this fiery Indian dish made with spicy heritage pork curry, tequila, chilies, and red wine vinegar.

7. Coquilles St-Jacques and soft polenta @ Le Bilboquet (Upper East Side) – If the eats don’t heat you up, join the rest of the euro revelers as they break a sweat dancing on their chairs before hitting up the likes of Kiss & Fly. 6. African road runner @ Xai Xai (Midtown West) – Enticingly exotic in a very Top Chef kind of way, this plate of ostrich tartar comes with South African seasoning and “monkeygland” peanut sauce. 5. Peppercorn crusted filet mignon @ Club Macanundo (Upper East Side) – Join mafia types and ladies in leopard for fireside beef, scotch, and cigars at one of the city’s last remaining smoker-friendly spots. 4. Liquid foie gras bao buns @ China 1 (East Village) – Insulate your body with something decadently fatty. 3. Fresh pasta with thyme and crabmeat @ Primavera (Upper East Side) – Because fresh pasta is to cold weather what ice cream is to the summer’s heat. 2. Fondue savoyarde @ La Cave des Fondus (Nolita) – Stay nice and toasty with some bubbling hot fromage at this underground fondue spot. 1. Porterhouse lamb chops @ Bar Americain (Midtown West) – Because no one heats things up like Bobby Flay.

Reaction Mixed for 21 Club’s Tie-Down

imageThe New York Times finally weighs in on 21 Club’s infamous relaxing of its dress code, with the club’s affable manager Bryan McGuire breaking his silence. “We wanted to be on a more level playing field with our competitors,” he tells the Times. “We didn’t think it was that big a deal.” Oh but it is, say some critics. “It’s the final victory of Los Angeles,” snipped Tim Zagat.

“Etiquette is on a downward spiral, and politeness is disappearing,” said Michael O’Keeffe, owner the River Café. “I will miss the tie policy at ‘21.’ It held up an example of what etiquette could be.” Scoffed another, “Now Bill Gates and the Google guys can come in.” Menswear designer Alan Flusser said the no-tie policy “is unfortunate.” He added, “I’m a traditionalist, and I don’t think this sends the right message to young people.”

Yet some shrug off the change. “I’m not shocked at the news,” said one longtime customer. “It is an appropriate change.” La Grenouille manager Charles Masson, who lifted his tie-only policy in 2003, raises a good point. “There used to be a time when men wore white wigs, too,” he said. Yet one thing remains: the famed tie drawer located in the cloakroom, where neckwear was offered to the unaware and under-dressed. They still offer ties to those in need.

21 Becomes Tie-Free Zone

The sharp-eyed, discerning tongues over at Eater have some bad news for the Gotham’s old-line traditonalists. The 21 Club has relaxed its dress code. Hidden within a press release announcing a prix-fixe deal, the owners let slip they have dropped their long-held dress code of tie and jacket. “We have (somewhat) relaxed our dress code in the lounge and bar areas, as well as the dining rooms,” reads a press release. “Ties are still preferred and greatly appreciated, but they are no longer a must.”

A quick peek at Zagats reveals that ’21’ was the last eatery in the city to drop the mandatory tie dress code. Nearly 80 years old, ’21’ has been a glamorous, old-school style-driven draw, and since Franklin D. Roosevelt, ’21’ has been a Presidential fave. John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and Frank Sinatra were regulars. Humphrey Bogart proposed to Lauren Bacall there, and it was a thriving hotspot for business lunches since opening day. “More deals are done at ’21’ than on the stock market floor,” noted Forbes.

Owners say they have relaxed the dress to encourage more business during the recession. A company rep also added that it reflects changing times. “Why should we say no to somebody who wants to have dinner with us [for lack of a tie]? Times change. We have to move forward.” Yet, while diners and drinkers no longer require a tie and jacket, t-shirt and jeans-wearing B&T sets will still be turned away at 21. Notes one hyperbolic commenter: “The more dress codes are relaxed, the closer we slip into barbarism.”