Sometimes a cigar bar is just a cigar bar: A Review of Club Macanudo

BY CAROLYN ONOFREY

Club Macanudo
26 East 63rd Street
Midtown East
212-752-8200/
clubmacanudo.com

A friend of mine is quite the cigar aficionado and so desperately wanted to try out Club Macanudo, a cigar club frequented by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and other famous cigar lovers who are owners of one of the private humidors which line the southern-most wall of the establishment.

The club is quite beautiful, looking like an old gentleman’s club complete with leather couches and chairs.  Since the club is owner to a coveted exception to the New York City indoor smoking ban, it is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) to light up inside.

Tuna Tartar Pyramid at Club Macanudo

Tuna Tartar Pyramid at Club Macanudo

Club Macanudo is revered for its high quality of service which seemed to be lacking on the night we visited.  Greeted by our cold waitress, she couldn’t have seemed less interested in our presence which left me wondering where she was the whole time, as we were only one of two or three tables occupied in the three and a half hours we spent at Club Macanudo.

I was excited to dive into the offerings expecting a classic and elegant Americana-heavy menu prepared to near perfection, seeing as the average entree price put you back about $30.00.
Instead, what I received was an overcooked, near mess of a meal.

We started with the Spicy Tuna Tartar Pyramid ($24) which lacked any spice or tuna.  The rather large pyramid was made up of mostly an avocado and tomato mixture, leaving me wondering ‘where was the tartar?’  The fried calamari ($16) was overcooked and chewy.

For my main course I went with one of my usual favorites, the sauteed Chilean Sea Bass ($31).  The sea bass was breaded in a thick beer batter-like coating and sauteed in butter, leaving the fish heavy and overcooked.  The flavor of the sea bass was overpowered by the breading as well as the rich buttery vermouth sauce it sat in.  I didn’t finish my entree and could only wonder how a chef could let a dish this disastrous leave the kitchen, or make the menu for that matter.

Sea Bass at Club Macanudo

Sea Bass at Club Macanudo

The redeeming factor, the reason why people frequent the Macanudo club must be for their selection of over 200 cigars (ranging from $10 – $275 ea.), certainly not for their food.

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