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Casa Cruz NYC

Christine Drinan, Founder

We know the theme is where to be this spring, but there’s always the exception. We had major high hopes when Casa Cruz opened their private club as there’s nothing like a velvet rope to create anticipation. This is the Casa Cruz NYC review.

Atmosphere

You have great expectations when you roll up to the gorgeous townhouse, right off Park Avenue on 61st Street. The bar is set even higher when you learn that accessing the top floors of Casa Cruz takes a membership that costs anywhere between $250-$500,000. However, the lounge and dining room are on the second floor and open to the public. These rooms are exquisitely and boldly decorated and exude character. The Founder is Chilean Juan Santa Cruz who does the whole Buenos Aires/Punta del Este scene. The rich colors and unique design throughout reflect a high level of taste and that South American joie de vivre.

London Roots

Casa Cruz NYC is an offshoot of the successful London outpost. But like they say, if you can make it here in New York, you can make it anywhere. For such a beautiful place with such stunning design and decor, I’m sad to report that they’re not making it in the Big Apple. The photos of the fancy celebrity-attended parties may imply otherwise. However, the empty public and private areas tell the real story.

Food + Wine

I’ll keep this brief because there is no point in kicking someone when they’re down. There’s a reason why most of the dinner tables are empty. The food just doesn’t measure up to New York standards. The cuisine of Casa Cruz NYC is Mediterranean, but it lacks identity and flavor. They could have really distinguished themselves with crave-worthy Argentinian cuisine which of course has Italian influence. But instead, I was puzzled that such a straightforward menu could be so bland. The crab salad had too much mayo and the red snapper made me wonder if I still had my sense of taste.

I was really excited for the souffle but that also was unmemorable. Even the side dishes like the domino potatoes, which were fried but strangely tough, missed the mark. We split the fish and I immediately regretted that we stayed for an entrée.

Service

For a place that’s a private club, the service could not be more well-intentioned. The bouncer/security at the door is welcoming, and the check-in staff does not have a hint of attitude. The waitstaff were genuine and wanted to do their best for us, but were not seasoned veterans of the food industry. They didn’t have knowledge of cuisine or beverage, or how to make things right. I was served two glasses of wine that had turned. However, in lieu of opening a new bottle of the higher-end wine I ordered, they brought me the least expensive wine on the menu.

Overall: 5.5/10

This place has all the ingredients to be a special club in NYC. But no matter how pretty you are, you need to back it up with substance to make it in NYC.

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