Gramercy Tavern Still Has It
GT has to be one of the most pleasing restaurants I've
ever visited. Four of us went Sunday and the meal was
virtually flawless -- no major blunders and some
wonderful dishes -- the fabulous tuna tartare; a
Mediterranean turbot, the best turbot I've ever had
(perfectly cooked); a lemon souffle tart that managed
to be pungent, delicate, sour, rich, and creamy at the
I thought of Jeremy while I was eating there, and the
oppressiveness he sometimes feels in big restaurants.
GT is large, but by breaking the space down into a
series of small rooms, it FEELS downright cozy.
And the service, to my mind, is the best of any
restaurant in NYC that I've experienced. Waiters and
waitresses are always informed about the food and the
wine, and share their expertise with none of the
portentousness or pretentiousness of so many fancy
restaurants. Even more impressive to me is the
attitude of busboys, coat check personnel, etc. I've
yet to encounter anyone at GT who is less than
attentive and enthusiastic.
And I love the "spicy red" section of the wine list.
Always good finds there at very reasonable prices.
Somehow, GT feels like the most American of all the
American restaurants -- Danny Meyer has found a way to
introduce an American STYLE to the ambiance and
service of a fine restaurant, and the results are
utterly charming and comfortable.
No doubt in my mind that Gramercy is among NYs best.
I appreciate a menu that takes a slight risk with its
ingredients and preparations as Tom does. However, as
tuna tartare is one of my favorite dishes, I do not
understand how a sea urchin vinaigrette, as sour
tasting as it is, can be one the same plate as the
sweet morsels of bright red fish. I have tried this
dish on three separate occasions, and each time I was
repulsed. Sea urchin is undoubtably an "acquired
taste" but puleeze - don't ruin an otherwise fabulous
dish with throwaway porcupines caught in a shrimpers
My raving aside, I truly appreciate the service and
atmosphere at Gramercy, especially the option of
dining in the bar area with less formality, yet same
attentiveness of the staff.
BTW, anyone eaten at 11 Madison yet?
I'm not a huge fan of urchin myself, but I find the
small quantity in the Gramercy Tavern sea urchin
vinaigrette to be inoffensive--indeed, I think it
imparts a nice zip to an otherwise workmanlike and
widely available dish. Still, I'm sure it can be
prepared without urchin, or with the dressing on the
side, or with a lot less dressing (easy to control,
since it's poured at the table by the waiter). My
favorite part of the dish, though, is that big sesame
re: Steven Shaw
I was at the Gramercy Tavern on Nov 20th and had one
of the best meals ever.
We had the Autumnal and Vegetarian tasting menus with
a half glass (matched) wine with each course. The
friendliness and professionalism of the staff was
something I have very rarely encountered (if ever) in
The other pleasing aspect was that I booked the table
for a time that I wanted - none of that 'sittings'
nonsense that I have encountered many times.
Next time I visit NYC I am DEFINITELY going back.
BTW Is the Gourmet Garage as good as it looked from a
brief visit ?
re: Robin Majumdar
So glad you enjoyed Gramercy Tavern. After my recent
rave, I worried about someone having a dismal
I happen to be a big fan of Gourmet Garage. Although
GG doesn't have the variety of produce of Fairway, the
quality tends to be better. The mesclun is so popular
that the turnover usually assures freshness. Some of
their own sauces, snacks, and desserts are fine,
although I find most of the prepared food in the delis
to be poor.
The bakery items, particularly the breads, tend to be
wonderful. Again, not a big selection compared to
Fairway or Zabar's, but a higher percentage of
winners. The prices vary dramatically, from being
the cheapest around to not competitive with Fairway or
Zabar's (although always cheaper than Balducci's or
Dean & DeLuca's). I like the lack of chichi at GG.
They are building a huge one right off of the
Christopher St. subway stop on Seventh Ave. and
re: Dave Feldman
The Gourmet Garage sort of blows (if you will).
Their prepared foods are singularly lackluster and a bad value and their veggies overpriced. They do have some good items in the their olive oil and some of the hard to find foodstuffs (like moroccan anchovy paste etc). Seems like the cheeses are OK. The breads are good. GG was once a garage down in Soho with great sandwiches. Now it's Office Depot for the palate. C'est la vie. Oh yeah. Go to Fairway or some of the single purveyor shops (cheese shop, etc). I like the cheeses at Todaro Bros a lot. Cheers.