It’s been 5 years since we ate at Gramercy Tavern Dining Room, a large 2 room place fronted by the Gramercy Bar. The dining room offers a tasting menu as well as a la carte and takes reservations whereas the bar is snacks and no reservations. It is far more relaxed in the one Michelin star elegant dining room with lots of seasonal flowers decorating the white cloth covered tables set with large white napkins, lowered lighting and soft jazz music in the background. Lots of art is in the room as well as nicely padded seating and wide plank wood floors. Excellent friendly service attends the customers and they were willing to make some changes to the tasting menu which was our choice for the lunch. Pacing of the tasting was spot on and portion control was great. The food is wonderful as was the total experience there. Don’t know why I waited so long to go back. I recommend it.
After we ordered they brought out buttery warm rolls with a goat cheese butter. There were a few crystals of salt on top of each roll and they had the slightest crunch to their exterior and inside soft loveliness. I devoured mine and the server was kind enough to offer me a second which I gladly accepted.
The tasting started with marinated scallops plated with Habanada peppers, green apples, beets and radish. The velvety scallops were a perfect match to the crisp sweet apple and all was surrounded by a lovely creamy sauce. The mild peppers added a touch of heat/spice to the dish. It was very good.
For the second course we substituted the Poached Lobster for the Smoked Artic char. It was served with kohlrabi, sweet corn and pickled red onion. There was a lot of crunch in the dish with the sweet corn being a perfect accompaniment to the tender sweet lobster. The herbs and sauce brought out a perfect pairing of flavors. A basically simple dish done excellently with wonderful flavor and texture.
Tagliarini was a housemade pasta with sausage, tomatoes and clams and then topped with bread crumbs and chives. The tender pasta was perfect with the cherry tomatoes and ground sausage. A good combination of flavors with the tomatoes and crumbs adding more texture. A really successful dish with a tad of spice and a fairly thin sauce. Perfect.
Duck breast and smoked thigh were served with cabbage, pine nuts and grapes. The smoked thigh meat was like little cut up bits of bacon, which added great flavor to the excellently cooked sliced breast meat. The slices were a perfect pink and very tender. A good proportion of all the ingredients made this a terrific plate and the pinenuts added a fun twist and more flavor. A total winner.
They offered an optional cheese course which we declined but here were the offerings.
A palate cleanser of apple consommé with pomegranate seed and pomegranate foam was good and a wonderful bright color.
Caramel Pears served with toffee sauce, walnuts and brie ice cream was the dessert with the tasting. Great pears were the star of this tasty dish paired with a creamy ice cream.
The server wanted us to try another dessert so he also brought Apple Buckwheat Cake with pomegranate and frozen yogurt. It was an upside down cake with apple inside and dehydrated apples around the cake. The yogurt ice cream added to the dish but I admit I like the brie ice cream better. Both good sweet fixes.
The final finish was apricot jellies and peach amaretto bonbons. Both were gooey and really sweet. A fabulous lunch.