Gramercy Tavern, NYC 5

November 24, 2009

On November 16, 2009, seven of us gathered at Gramercy Tavern to celebrate Blair’s birthday. We were seated at a round table in the middle of the first dining room behind the lively bar. It was quite noisy, but became quieter as the evening progressed. On arrival each person ordered an apéritif. Blair ordered the Autumn Tasting Menu for us. A little amuse-gueule arrived. It was sort of half a potato croquette.

The menu started with
Citrus Cured Arctic Char
Lemon Confit

There was raw char underneath a house-made char gravlax. Nice.

Lobster Soup
Autumn Vegetables and Pancetta

Seafood and pork are an easy combination.

Grilled Sturgeon
Buckwheat, Parsnips and Leeks

The autumn ingredients are a natural combination. The buckwheat added needed crunch.

Smoked Trout
Cipollini Purée and Pickled Onions

The smoked trout had been lightly warmed. The onion purée was appropriately mild while the pickled rings added some zip to the taste and the decor.

Rack of Veal & Deckle
Red Cabbage and Cranberry Beans

The tender lean slice from the rack is paired with the more flavorful cube from the cap of the brisket. The autumn vegetable garnish theme is continued, but the beans were very bland.


The predessert was an apple shortcake


The dessert was a fig crostata. Blair’s plate was decorated for the occasion.

A nice dessert.

The mignardises were lovely.

The wines of the evening were an Oregon Chardonnay, a California Viognier and a red Burgundy. The last two were quite nice, but I never saw the labels.

Gramercy Tavern is voted the most popular restaurant in New York in the 2010 Zagat, up from second place the two previous years. It obviously intends to keep this rating by offering carefully-prepared upscale comfort food such as we had in our meal. Like most tables, ours had a variety of food interests. All of our diners were satisfied by the classic combinations and some were enthusiastic; Chris, who usually favors steak, said “This may be best thing I have ever had,” as he finished devouring his smoked trout and tried to snare some of his wife’s. Danny Meyer now has Eleven Madison Park as his showcase for top American cuisine and can have Gramercy Tavern continue on its successful well-trodden path.

We passed the grilling station en route to our table.

To see our meal at The Gramercy Tavern in December 2006 click here.


One Response to “Gramercy Tavern, NYC 5”

  1. Blair Says:

    Karyn and I ate at Gramercy Tavern last night to celebrate our friend’s marriage. The food was quite good although I must say it wasn’t that much different than the previous meals we have had at GT. It seems like a “formula” has been developed where they change a couple of things around but the essence of the meal remains the same.

    The formula is: raw fish (arctic char again) with a seasonal veg in light acid, a shellfish (soft shell crab), smoked trout served exactly the same way, and a meat dish that contains both a slow braised piece for flavor and a seared piece for freshness (beef), interesting desserts that blow your doors off (chocolate bread pudding). The items in parenthesis are the differences from the above post.

    While every restaurant has a formula of sorts that they follow it seems that GT isn’t really pushing itself. Of course this is probably intentional, EMP is where Danny Meyer seems to flex his culinary creativity, but I would have expected more variation in technique and style, at least if they want me to come back and pay $120 a head for dinner. Again, food was excellent, but they didn’t do much to make me want to come back on more than a 1-2 year schedule.

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