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Gramercy Tavern or Eleven Madison Park?

Hi. A question for those in the know:

I will be in New York for four nights in June.

One of those evenings is taken up with Le Bernardin (one of my faves of all time); the other with Marea (which I have also been dying to try).

Another night will be a quick bite and a theatre night.

However, for the other evening I am torn: Should I go to Gramercy Tavern or to Eleven Madison Park?

I have not been to either before, and would llike to try both; just cannot fit them both in on this trip. So if I had to choose one over the other, which one would it be--and why?

(I am inclined to go with Eleven Madison as Chef Humm just won the James Beard Award for best chef in NYC. But I have always wanted to try the Gramercy Tavern, too.)

Your thoughts?

Thanks.

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Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

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  1. I would definitely choose EMP. Daniel Humm is very talented, and the food coming out of EMP's kitchen is far more exciting than Gramercy Tavern's.

    Le Bernardin, Marea, and EMP is a great lineup.

    -----
    Gramercy Tavern
    42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

    Le Bernardin
    155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

    Marea
    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

    1. Eleven Madison Park. Chef Humm is one of the most exciting chef's in NYC right now, and service at EMP is always flawless but never stiff or stuffy. From top to bottom, EMP is one of the single best dinners in New York.

      I'm totally jealous of your lineup.

      http://underemployedinnyc.blogspot.com/

      -----
      Eleven Madison Park
      11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

      1. EMP

        1. Thanks so far for the feedback. Much appreciated. 3-0 so far for EMP! I think my instincts were right.

          Also, while we're at it, can folks also recommend a good pre-theatre place? Would Marseille be a good choice?

          Thanks again.

          2 Replies
          1. re: torontoview

            Marseille is fine. But even better, imo, is dbBistro Moderne. One of Chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants, it focuses on contemporary French bistro cuisine. Needless to say, the food is superb. While the a la carte menu is pricey (though far less expensive than his flagship temple of haute French cuisne), they offer a pre-theater 3-course prix fixe for $45 -- a very good deal for food of such high caliber.

            dbBistro photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            And another vote for EMP! (Not that that surprises any of the regulars here. lol)

            1. re: torontoview

              Marseille is my favorite pre-theatre spot. Had a bad service experience at db Bistro Moderne a few years ago (haven't gone back since). Food was fine though.

              Another vote in favor of EMP (I'm going next week).

            2. Definitely EMP!

              1. Strong vote for Eleven Madison Park.

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                Eleven Madison Park
                11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                1 Reply
                1. re: gutsofsteel

                  also EMP

                2. Thanks everyone for the feedback. Interesting: not even a single vote for the Gramercy Tavern in this duel.

                  As for pre-theatre, I had definitely considered dbBistro Moderne. You are right: $45 for a good prix fixe is pretty good value, provided the food is good.

                  I appreciate the feedback.

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                  Gramercy Tavern
                  42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: torontoview

                    Definetely EMP

                    But if you're up to satisfying your curiosity on Gramercy Tavern maybe you can sneak a lunch.

                    Enjoy NYC!

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                    Gramercy Tavern
                    42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                    1. re: Quimbombo

                      EMP is really reaching for and executing on a higher level. It's a four star NYT restaurant.

                      Gramercy Tavern, which I like a lot, isn't really reaching for that four star experience. But I do enjoy the food a fair bit.

                      One clarification: GT has a formal dining room and a casual room called the Tavern Room which serves continuously throughout the day. So sometimes the formal room is closed but they are still serving in the Tavern Room. The Tavern Room doesn't take reservations. We are mostly comparing the formal dining room of GT against EMP.

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                      Gramercy Tavern
                      42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                      1. re: kathryn

                        But, in fact, I do prefer the Tavern Room to the formal dining room at Gramercy Tavern.

                        That is not to say that I prefer the Tavern Room at Gramercy Tavern over Eleven Madison Park.

                        -----
                        Eleven Madison Park
                        11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                        Gramercy Tavern
                        42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                    2. re: torontoview

                      Hands down Eleven Madison Park no question about it.

                      -----
                      Eleven Madison Park
                      11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                    3. @ torontoview: Both restaurants are solid. I prefer Eleven Madison Park.

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                      Eleven Madison Park
                      11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                      1. Thank you everyone for your collective wisdom. Eleven Madison Park it is; have my resos. May definitely try to sneak in a lunch on the tavern side of Gramercy, time, itinerary and hunger permitting.

                        Leaning toward db Bistro Moderne for the quick pre-theatre.

                        I love NYC. Nowhere else like it. Looking forward to this visit.

                        -----
                        Eleven Madison Park
                        11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: torontoview

                          @ torontoview: If you can swing that combination (Tavern Room for lunch, Eleven Madison Park for dinner), that sounds like the ideal compromise.

                          -----
                          Eleven Madison Park
                          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                        2. I have ALWAYS loved Gramercy; I think its a great place to go for your first, second, third, fourth or fifth time! Catch my drift?