Gramercy Tavern

By grace.g.yang · November 15, 2010
Under: American,Desserts,Dinner,Gramercy,Lunch,Michelin 2010 Guide,My Life

When I lived close to Gramercy Tavern, I visited once and ate in the tavern for a quick meal with my friend, Joe. The food was really good (we ordered their meatball and pulled pork sandwich), but the wait for a seat at the bar was a little longer than we expected. On this visit, I made a reservation beforehand because I wanted to experience the formal dining room and because I wanted to be seated right away.

My mom joined me for lunch and we met at the restaurant a little after it opened at 12:30. A coworker had just mentioned their $15 soup and sandwich lunch deal (one of the best in the city, in my opinion). I wasn’t sure if it was available in the formal dining room (it’s not) – but the menu options looked so good that we ended up not even wanting to eat their daily sandwich (when we visited, I think it was a roast beef sandwich). The formal dining room was decorated with fall tapestries and paintings:


I always love the feeling I get when I walk by Gramercy Tavern; it’s warm, welcoming, and always busy with people that are always engaged in lively conversations. It seems like Gramercy Tavern is one of those restaurants that you keep in your back pocket because it’s good for all occasions; for lunch that day, we sat by a bachelorette party (or some kind of party with lots of women), an older couple that seemed to be regulars, and a pair of gentlemen chatting through a business lunch.

Before we started lunch, I took a snapshot of the plates – so beautiful and perfect for fall:


Our server took our lunch order and then came by with some rustic bread and rolls with a side of butter:


Before our actual courses arrived, a server brought along an amuse bouche – curried squash custard with fall vegetables:


The custard was full-bodied yet very refreshing with the different vegetables on top – my mom and I both liked this dish so much we were very excited for the rest of the courses!

For our first course, we shared semolina pasta with tomatoes and roasted artichokes:


This was the only dish I wasn’t crazy about; the semolina pasta seemed to break apart too easily and fell apart when I chewed it as well. The acidity of the tomatoes was also a little too sharp and overall, this dish didn’t do it for either of us.

For our next course, the chef sent over their smoked trout with Cippollini Purée and Pickled Onions:


The trout was surprisingly tender and very flavorful from the puree and pickled onions. My mom was a huge fan of the dish and it was also a really nice surprise since we discussed ordering the dish but decided against it since we weren’t sure how much we should eat for lunch.

For my main course, I ordered the Sea Bass with Rainbow Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts, Capers and Sweet Onion Sauce:


The chef, Michael Anthony, and I recreated this dish in his kitchen a couple of days after I initially dined in the restaurant (video is coming soon!) The sweet onion and capers sauce really brings out the sweetness of the sea bass and complements it well. I also liked the swiss chard a lot; it had a bite to it because the swiss chard is just lightly cooked.

For my mom’s main course, she ordered the Braised Lamb Shoulder – Heirloom Beans and Chanterelle Mushrooms:


We didn’t expect so much for lunch but it was really quite delicious; very tender, seasoned well, and the combination of heirloom beans and Chanterelle mushrooms was absolutely delicious.

Me and my mom at lunch:


I was called into a meeting before I could enjoy dessert (I was also really full so I probably couldn’t have even eaten dessert) but the server brought along some tea, macarons, and other goodies for my mom:


Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal and Gramercy Tavern is definitely becoming one of my favorite restaurants in the city; it’s perfect for all occasions and it’s so close to my office that I’m lucky enough to be able to take advantage of their great lunch deal. The brunch on the weekends is probably one of the things I’m looking forward to (their wood-burning oven in the tavern makes it so cozy that I just want to stay there all day!)

Gramercy Tavern on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments

Cozy sounds appetizing and that trout looks delicious. I’ve yet to get to this place. Moving it up on the list!

Written By SF on November 15th, 2010 @ 11:09 am

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