Gramercy Tavern, NYC 3
December 1, 2006
On December 1, 2006, we went to lunch at The Gramercy Tavern with Linda’s niece, Becky, and her husband, Chuck. Lunch is a more relaxed affair than dinner, with smaller, and less expensive, menus. There is a three course Market Tasting Menu for $36 (see below) or, our choice, the lunch Autumn Tasting Menu for $55. There are no amuse-gueules, friandises or breakfast muffins, as in the evening.
The Nantucket Bay scallops which followed were delicious, but, even for a tasting menu, serving only three seemed sparse. I know they are expensive as I buy them whenever I can find the real ones from Nantucket Bay during their winter season. Wrapping them in Brussels sprout leaves, which was not as described on the menu, worked well.
. The black bass was cooked beautifully; I don’t know how they get such a crisp skin without overcooking the meat. .
They should have used the technique on the squab which followed as the skin did not have the crisp caramelization that one finds in squab in a good French or Chinese restaurant. But the ample meat was delicious.
The amuse-dessert was coconut tapioca with cilantro syrup, peach sorbet and a caramel cracker.
We had started with glasses of prosecco or grüner veltliner for apéritif. We followed with a bottle of Seghesio Arneis. I had never had a California Arneis before; it didn’t seem to have the fullness of a good one from the Roero. We then had a 2000 Arcadian Nacido Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley. It had a pleasant flavor, but was a bit thin.
Despite my quibbles the whole meal was very enjoyable and well done. The service was slow to start, but improved a lot when we ordered the big menu and two bottles of wine. In the twelve days since we had last been there the whole restaurant had been redecorated from fall: leaves, bittersweet etc to winter: evergreens, Xmas lights etc. The clientele was a mixed bag as usual and the noise level was high until later in our meal when most people had left. I don’t think they get two sittings at many of the tables at lunch. It all came to $115@.