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In the Groove

Duck pate, pistachio and onion marmalade
2006 Pazo San Mauro Albariño Rias Baixas, Spain

Veal cappellaci, sage, cauliflower, lemon butter sauce

Black tagliatelle, lobster, chorizo, calamari, mussels

Striped bass, crab, sunchokes, mizuna

Grouper, sweet onions, trumpet royale mushrooms

Rack of pork, braised pork belly, baby turnips, Adirondack blue potatoes

Lemon mango meringue

Apple chutney, honey; assorted breads

Selection of cheeses

Left to right: Vermont shepherd (raw sheep’s milk cheese from Major Farms Vermont Shepherd, Putney, Vermont), Shusan Snow (raw sheep’s milk cheese from J-Corner Field Farm, Shushan, New York), Vacherin Mont d’Or (washed-rind cow’s milk cheese from La Chaux, Switzerland), Saenkanter Gouda (cow’s milk cheese from Zaandam, Holland), Bayley Hazen (raw cow’s milk cheese from Jasper Hill Creamery, Greensboro, Vermont)

2003 Sauternes, Chateau Climens, Barsac, France

Warm chocolate bread pudding, cacao nib ice cream

Opened in 1994 by restauranteur Danny Meyer and then-executive chef Tom Colicchio, Gramercy Tavern was a bold experiment to reinvent the notion of classic luxury American dining according to modern sensibilities. Ruth Reichl declared it a restaurant with near limitless potential and awarded it two stars in her review.

Fast forward twelve years later. For many years, the restaurant coasted along on its laurels. The food, neither scintillating nor depressed, simply just was. Ennui had set in.

No more. Chef Michael Anthony, formerly of L’Arpege (Paris), L’Astrance (Paris), Daniel (New York), March (New York), Blue Hill Washington Square and most recently, Blue Hill Stone Barns, is the current executive chef at GT. Mr. Anthony is clearly in his groove and has remade the restaurant into one of the most exciting venues in New York City. His efforts have paid off; a re-review by Frank Bruni garnered three stars in June 2007.

Last night was the third time I’ve been at GT in the past year, and each has been an experience that has built on its predecessor. An undocumented dinner took place back in September. I still find myself dreaming of smoked trout served with a delicate celery root puree and pickled onion. Mushroom ravioli with trumpet royale mushrooms and aged balsamic exploded with an intensity of flavor on the first bite. Risotto with heirloom tomatoes and tomato jam was an extended farewell to summer’s long reach.

Out of 10? A very strong 8. GT isn’t known for being in the forefront of the avant-garde. Instead, it offers and excels its own brand of soothing comfort wrapped in modern elegance. I’d say the experiment succeeded in spades.

Gramercy Tavern is located at 18 East 20th Street (Park Avenue South) in the Flatiron district of Manhattan.

8 replies »

  1. I usually got to read your restaurant review in images right after I ate. Same tonight. And yet these latest pics make me insufferably starving right away.
    Looks truly seductive yet solid good stuff….


  2. Please no! I just walked to my fridge and cut myself a chuck Gouda. Must. Stop. Reading. This. Blog.

    I bet you could even tell me the age of that cheese.

    (I was at a market in Amsterdam with my best friend, an American who has been living here for 11 years now, and we observed an American tourist girl ask the guy at this wonderful cheese stand what the difference was between the ‘old’ cheese and the ‘young’ cheese. My poor friend cringed…)

    I know ‘old’ is actually called ripe, but are there any words in English to describe the inbetween (st)ages?


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In the Pantry

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