Saturday, May 30, 2009

NYC: Gramercy Tavern

I've been making my Michelin rounds in NYC. Gramercy Tavern was another amazing dinner from my last NYC trip back in November. With a much more casual ambiance than Jean Georges or Le Bernardin, this was the perfect choice for our big group dinner, as we can all talk and enjoy ourselves.

Gramercy Tavern only had one big table (bigger than 6) so the only time we were able to snatch a reservation for 8 was at 5:45 pm since there was another party coming later that night. We stayed waaay late and felt bad for the incoming party, but they didn't rush us at all. Instead of the tasting menu, we went with the prix-fixe $86 for 3 courses.

As usual, some of the first courses made it around the table so we can all sample.
Veal Cappelletti (Cauliflower and sage)
Tender and flavorful veal with al dente pasta. I liked the slightly herb-y sauce due to the sage. In a cold night in NYC, this was one satisfying comfort food. This was a good start and a good intro to the Gramercy Tavern meal. Simple, flavorful, well-executed.

Black Tagliatelle (chorizo, mussels, and calamari)
The black tagliatelle is typically made black using squid or cuttlefish ink, which also adds another layer of flavor. I only had a bit of this dish but really enjoyed it. The calamari was nice and chewy and went very well with the pasta.

Lamb Pappardelle (Olives, lemon confit, swiss chard)
This was another great dish with shreds of tender lamb. It was very flavorful, if not a tad salty. As a warning, the last two pasta dish was definitely a little on the salty side, but not overwhelmingly so.

For my second course, I ordered the Sea Bass (spaghetti squash, sherry sauce)
This is rather unlike me to order a fish (instead of my usual red meat), but boy was I glad I did! In my opinion, this was the best dish of the night! The fish was very moist and had a great texture, and I absolutely loved how it paired with the spaghetti squash! Compared to the first courses, the sauce here is slightly more delicate but still has a lot of flavor. This was definitely a hit.

As far as desserts go, there were two that stand out. The first stood out because it's unique and interesting:
Coconut Tapioca (Passionfruit and coconut sorbet, passionfruit caramel, and cilantro syrup)
I thought this was a creative and well-executed dessert. The flavor is fairly light. I like the flavor combination - the cilantro added a refreshing kick for me (though I know some people don't like cilantro).

The second stood up simply because of how awesome it was:
Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding (Cacao Nib ice cream)
It was warm. It was a gooey rich chocolatey goodness. It was comfort food dessert to the max. Simply put, it was an amazing chocolate bread pudding.

We finished off with a nice little plate of petit fours.
Gramcercy Tavern was a no fuss meal. No foam, no spherical liquid. Just straight-up a delicious and satisfying meal you enjoy among friends. It's a total comfort food for me back in that freezing New York "fall".

Gramercy Tavern Reserve Now!
42 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 477-0777
www.gramercytavern.com
Gramercy Tavern on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

Nanciful

That cilantro dessert looks delish! I love desserts with "non-dessert" ingredients!

Aaron

I have been eying Gramercy Tavern for some time. Have you been to Craft? Is the food similar?

burumun

Aaron: I have been to Craft. I don't think the food is too similar even tho Colicchio did hail from GT. Even the regular Craft (not Craft Steak) is more similar to a steakhouse than Gramercy is, with more focus on meats and sides while Gramercy's first courses focus on the pasta, etc.

Pinkfoodie

The Veal Cappelletti looks delicious. I am a huge fan of pasta especially stuffed pasta. Great report.

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