Gramercy Tavern

I know that many of you out there have already heard, and perhaps been to, Gramercy Tavern. However, for those of you who haven’t, here’s my spiel.
Looking for a great place to dine in New York City can be incredibly overwhelming; the list is endless. You really have to narrow it down to your mood, whatcha feel like eatin’, if you’re looking for a great wine list, how schmancy you want it to be, cleanliness, hype, can you get reservations on short notice, etc. Now I’ve heard the whatsits on this one particular restaurant, I’ve seen the Michelin star rating, and I have possibly even met the chef at some point. I was not really in the mood for “American” cuisine. In fact, I was definitely leaning more towards a bit of Indian or Japanese. However, because EVERYONE and their Great Aunt Fanny suggested Gramercy Tavern, I felt the need to give in and join in on the fun.
Chef/Owner Tom Colicchio, formerly of Mondrian, Gotham, and Thomas Keller’s Rakel, and currently of Craft family fame, is no newcomer to the biz. And it’s quite obvious that he believes in good food, hospitality, and basically the whole package. In 1994, Tom and partner Danny Meyer, opened Gramercy with dreams of “redefining grand cuisine in New York.” Job well done, I’d say.
The ambiance is what one might call “Haute-Rustique”. Exposed wooden beams on the ceiling, fireplace, convivial atmosphere. Very nice, warm, and welcoming. Dining in the front Tavern Room and Bar is more relaxed, The menu is less formal and less expensive, but still incredible. My dinner guest and I were very fortunate to have received reservations in the Main Dining Room on such short notice; however, I would recommend calling in advance.
The Sea Urchin first course soothed my soul and reassured me that I definitely had not made a bad decision by coming here. The Rabbit main course, with roasted shallots, garlic sausage, olives and rosemary transported my companion straight back to sunny vacations in the South of France.
The staff is amazingly informative and down-to-earth, the wine list is extensive, the desserts are to die for, and the Ethiopian coffee made for a perfect ending to a scrumptuous meal.
Sorry, no photos on this one. You’ll just have to go there, and try it for yourself. (42 East 20th Street, NY, NY 10003 – 212.477.0777) Have a delicious day!

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