Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
May 19, 2009 01:48 PM

Gramercy Tavern or Gotham?

We are celebrating my sister's graduation and are debating between Gramercy Tavern and Gotham - haven't been to either in a long time - would love to hear from people that have been recently. What's your vote?!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We have not been to Gotham in a very long time. However, we ate in the formal dining room at Gramercy within the past few months, and I was totally disappointed with the food.

    My appetizer, a foie gras concoction, was very strange, and my duck breast main course had an odd breading which totally fell off, leaving behind an exceedingly bland piece of meat. The best part of the meal was the extraordinarily delicious -- and, unfortunately, tiny -- pre-dessert, and a fine dessert tart. My husband fared a bit better with pasta to start, followed by rack of lamb. Both were decently prepared but lacked any real excitement.

    To be honest, I actually preferred the food we've had the two times we've eaten in the Tavern Room since Michael Anthony took over the kitchen. Of course, there are many Hounds who swoon over the food in G.T.'s dining room. Obviously, I'm not one of them. I'd sooner go back and give Gotham a try again since the food we had there was very good and was much more appealing to me.

    1. It's been a long time since I was at Gramercy (two chefs ago!), so I'm not the ideal person to give you advice. However, I have been to Gotham recently. The food is fine but by today's standards dull and predictable. For example, when I go to a place that is "upscale," I expect to see a more interesting appetizer than tuna tartar, which I would expect to find at just about any run of the mill European/"new American" restaurant downtown. My understanding is that Gotham is largely responsible for popularizing many of the dishes that appear on their menu, but even if that is true, "historical importance" generally doesn't factor into my evaluation of a restaurant.

      Now if a predictable menu served in what really is a great space sounds suitable to you for your graduation dinner, by all means go. But if you want memorable food to be a part of your evening, I would personally suggest looking elsewhere.

      1. GRAMERCY TAVERN!!! They are far and away more current and a phenomenal dining experience. When I went to Gotham, it felt like a restaurant that peaked in the 90s and was still open and doing alright. The "tall food" thing, albeit a hallmark of the restaurant, is dated. Gramercy is at it's best and has been for a couple years in my book. And it's a great experience. The staff is warm and thoughtful (gotham is... satisfactory or less), the ambience is great with the open grill in the tavern, the flowers are beautiful, the wine list is excellent (gotham's is archaic). I would go to Gramercy in a heartbeat. And I probably won't go back to Gotham.

        1. I've been to both recently, although we ate in the Tavern Room at Gramercy.

          Gotham was great, but I agree with a previous poster, the menu was very 1999. But, everything we had was perfection. Just not a very interesting menu. And, it was viciously expensive. But, I think it has a better 'special' occasion feel to it so it might be a great choice given that you're celebrating.

          Our food at Gramercy was great too and I'd go back to Gramercy before I would Gotham. I think their menu, in general, is much more interesting, but that is not a reflection on the quality of Gotham's food, more a reflection of my personal taste.

          The service was outstanding at both restaurants.

          Whatever you decide, I hope it is a memorable night out for all! Best of luck.

          1. You didn't ask for alternatives, but I would consider Cru or Veritas to be much better choices in the vicinity.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rrems

              I am a huge fan of Veritas and would certainly recommend it highly. However, Chef Gregory Pugin's superb cuisine is French, while the two restaurants edygirlnyc is considering serve New American cuisine. So, I'm guessing that's the type of food she is looking for.


              We haven't been to Cru, but the website describes his cuisine as "modern European." Looking at the menu, it seems to me a melding of New American, French, and Italian, the latter being a full pastas section.


              1. re: RGR

                Absolutely correct, RGR. I suggested Veritas because the food is more interesting than GT, but I don't know if French is what they are looking for. Cru is more varied in style. Because of the geographic proximity and similar price range (though Cru is even a bit lower these days), I always find myself comparing Cru to Gotham and wondering why Gotham seems to get more business.