Birthday Dinner at Gramercy Tavern in New York
by The Wandering Epicures
Last visited: November 16, 2009
On November 16, 2009, seven of us gathered at Gramercy Tavern to celebrate Blair’s birthday. We were seated at a round table in the middle of the first dining room behind the lively bar. It was quite noisy, but became quieter as the evening progressed. On arrival each person ordered an apéritif. Blair ordered the Autumn Tasting Menu for us. A little amuse-gueule arrived. It was sort of half a potato croquette.
The menu started with
Citrus Cured Arctic Char
There was raw char underneath a house-made char gravlax. Nice.
Autumn Vegetables and Pancetta
Seafood and pork are an easy combination.
Buckwheat, Parsnips and Leeks
The autumn ingredients are a natural combination. The buckwheat added needed crunch.
Cipollini Purée and Pickled Onions
The smoked trout had been lightly warmed. The onion purée was appropriately mild while the pickled rings added some zip to the taste and the decor.
Rack of Veal & Deckle
Red Cabbage and Cranberry Beans
The tender lean slice from the rack is paired with the more flavorful cube from the cap of the brisket. The autumn vegetable garnish theme is continued, but the beans were very bland.
The pre-dessert was an apple shortcake
The dessert was a fig crostata. Blair’s plate was decorated for the occasion.
A nice dessert.
The mignardises were lovely.
The wines of the evening were an Oregon Chardonnay, a California Viognier and a red Burgundy. The last two were quite nice, but I never saw the labels.
Gramercy Tavern is voted the most popular restaurant in New York in the 2010 Zagat, up from second place the two previous years. It obviously intends to keep this rating by offering carefully-prepared upscale comfort food such as we had in our meal. Like most tables, ours had a variety of food interests. All of our diners were satisfied by the classic combinations and some were enthusiastic; Chris, who usually favors steak, said ”This may be best thing I have ever had,” as he finished devouring his smoked trout and tried to snare some of his wife’s. Danny Meyer now has Eleven Madison Park as his showcase for top American cuisine and can have Gramercy Tavern continue on its successful well-trodden path.
We passed the grilling station en route to our table.
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