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May 11, 2000 08:45 PM

big thumbs up for Gramercy's between-meals menu

  • d

Particularly the "dessert tastes" - I think it's Gramercy's entire dessert menu (there were at least 15 choices) replicated in miniature at $4 a pop, with no loss of flavor or presentation (down to the teeny coconut tuile on the tiny scoop of passion fruit sorbet, floating in a little cup of coconut tapioca with cilantro syrup). I plan to return next week with a few friends in order to work my way through the rest of the list in one sitting.
Oh, and the popovers with foie gras butter ain't bad either.

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  1. Inspired by Daveena's post, we had a decadent, impromptu afternoon dessert tasting at GT. Just as she said, the dessert tastes ($4 each) are perfect miniature versions of the regular menu items. There are 10 selections, and we ultimately sampled 8 (in two "courses").

    First, we went for the fruit: strawberry-rhubarb shortcake with ginger ice cream; buttermilk panna cotta with strawberry gelée and strawberry sorbet (equal parts silky panna cotta and essentially soft jello with a great, fresh strawberry flavor); and roasted pineapple with vanilla-rum ice cream (very flavorful, caremalized fresh pineapple perched on a tiny round of slightly caramelly macadamia brittle).

    Second round was chocolate: chocolate souffle cake with malted milk chocolate ice cream (cake was fine but not standout and malt flavor almost too little to detect); chocolate brioche melt (imagine an extremely rich grilled cheese sandwich with bittersweet chocolate in place of the cheese); and chocolate caramel tart with caramel ice cream (perfect for fans of ooey-gooey, it's basically candy--chocolate cookie crust with oozy, not-too-sweet caramel topped with bittersweet ganache). We had actually ordered all four chocolate selections; when these three came, we were told that the ganache cake had fallen and they were baking another one. In the meantime (as if we didn't have enough), they gave us the coconut tapioca with passionfruit ice and coconut sorbet on the house (it was excellent; now I wish I'd clipped the recipe from the Times last year when Claudia Fleming was the featured chef). The ganache cake was tall and narrow, quite bittersweet, and oozed the requisite gush of molten chocolate; the accompanying earl grey ice cream was enigmatic, with an orange/bergamot taste and a strong tea aroma.

    The eight tastes together were about the equivalent of three full-size desserts, but all chocolate selections were knock-out rich. For me, the standouts were the roasted pineapple and the ganache cake with early grey ice cream, though they were all delicious.

    BTW, the two we didn't try were strawberry and creme fraiche parfait and banana tart tatin.