New York City has never been more New York. We’ve always had private clubs, but this past two years brings in a slew of members only enclaves that are anything but old school. But the color of your Amex as a membership criteria? We were skeptical if it would be a place we would want to hang. By now we all know that financial resources as a metric don’t mean you’re cool. This is the review of the new Amex Centurion Club in NYC.
The private club craze is alive and well in NYC, but today, there’s a slew of modern members-only places whose spaces are as stunning as they are exclusive. Point in case, enter in Casa Cipriani to Aman NYC, who gauge membership by a new standard for admission. Financial resources, who you know, your success in career, well – that’s all just baseline minimum standards. The result are clubs with defined personalities and crowds to make them stand out from the pack. So when I heard that American Express was curating a club based on the color of your Amex, which in this case is black, I was skeptical. The nutshell is that I loved the new Amex Centurion Club in NYC.
The Amex Centurion Club in NYC is located on the entire 55th floor of the One Vanderbilt building. The skyscraper itself represents a new era of NYC as a top international city in the world. On the second floor is Daniel Boulud’s Pavillon, and at the top is the SUMMIT, a tourist attraction with top views of NYC.
On the Madison side entrance though, which is guarded like the President is in residence, is the Amex Centurion Club entrance. Once you pass through their security at a dedicated Centurion desk, you take an elevator that whisks you directly up to the 55th floor. It’s on this floor, with 360 degree views, that you’ll find the home of the Amex Centurion Club in NYC.
I live in an apartment with a gorgeous view, as do many of my friends in NYC. So I didn’t think I would be impressed, but I was. In fact, I was like a 12 year old girl Snapchatting and taking as many photos as I could. The view is more than something special, and I would say that it’s one of the reasons that Amex Centurion Club in NYC is so unique.
Facing towards the Empire State building, in fact, looking directly at it, is the bar area of the Centurion Club. The bar setup is a little awkward, as stacked glassware is part of your view of the Empire State. However, they make damned good cocktails. I started out with the New York Sour, which had bourbon and red wine, a combination I didn’t know could work so well.
As the Amex Centurion Club in NYC takes up the entire 55th floor, views are 360 degrees. The design and decor of the dining room is sleek and modern in a monochrome grey, black and whites. It’s so well done that it compliments the views, but also is aesthetically interesting enough to almost compete. There’s casual dining area with a bar, then the formal dining room that’s split into three sections. Tables are mostly full from 7pm, and empty out by around 10ish.
Daniel Boulud is at the helm of the kitchen, and I think the Centurion Club is his best restaurant of the bunch. I always love Daniel, and have been to at least 10 others in his portfolio. But the new Centurion Club location reflects the modern dining expectations of fine dining. Yes, you want the food to be perfectly executed, and service to be impeccable, which it is. Modern high-end diners though rarely want hushed old school formal dining rooms and food that tries too hard. Boulud’s Centurion Club hits all those right notes.
First, I wanted to order everything on the menu, which is a prix fixe 3-course meal that clocks in at $165/per person. The menu as you expect is seasonal, so had white asparagus, which was in prime season. There was also a king crab & caviar dish, which were 4 or so artful bites over cauliflower, sea beans and yuzu. it was unique from anything I’ve had before. The foie gras in champagne mango was a hit at the table, as was the sea scallop dukkah, which had almost a slight curry favor. Whatever it was, it was delicious.
On mains, the Canard a L’Orange was a beautiful dream. The entire duck was presented to the table, then portioned out individually for those diners across the room. The Maine lobster was a standout, in a green curry sauce over jasmine rice. I asked for a second helping of the green curry sauce, which is poured table side. I’m going back for the porcini lasagnette in tallagio foam the next time.
I’m not much for desserts so I ordered the cheese plate. My only suggestion would be to bring out the cart and plate it table side. There’s nothing that I’ve seen grown adults get more excited for than a cart of cheese.
The host group seemed anxious to seat us when we arrived, in lieu of asking us if we wanted to chill until the full party was ready at the bar for a drink. Maybe it is because the dining room closes at 10pm, but either way, it’s attentive. Service is running like clockwork, as you would expect from a Boulud operation. It’s also plentiful, where there are people for every function. You have someone to take your order as your lead server, then a group to bring out dishes. Then there’s someone to pour the sauces table side. There was a formality to the service, which is not me, but I imagine the style of other guests who come to the Amex Centurion Club in NYC.
This is rarified territory for me to give anything above 8/10. But then again, the Amex Centurion Club in NYC is a special place.
Q: Is the Amex Centurion Club in NYC only open to Centurion cardholders?
A: Essentially yes, as Centurion cardholders get priority for all reservations. However, you can make a reservation, if you’re lucky, up to 30 days in advance for up to two people on Resy. It’s a hustle though to get this reservation, and with the price of dinner at least $500/pp with wine and drinks, you definitely need to be in the Centurion income requirements.
Q: Can you just have drinks at the Amex Centurion Club in NYC?
A: Currently only Centurion Card members can make reservations for drinks and the more casual dining area. Everyone else needs to do the formal dining menu at $165/pp.
Q: What are the hours of operation at the Amex Centurion Club in NYC?
A: HOURS OF OPERATION • Mon – Sun: Centurion New York is open 11am-10pm; • 8:30pm will be the last seating for The Gallery and 9pm for The Studio