May 11, 2009

Gramercy Tavern - A Classic restaurant like no other

Dining at Gramercy Tavern is a great respite from the hustle and bustle of modern day New York. It's like dining with an old friend: Easy-going conversation/service with dependable cuisine. It manages to be comfortable, but classy as well as rustic, yet sophisticated.

While we waited at the bar, we looked over the impressive beer list. We had the Brooklyn Brewery Intensified Coffee Stout (a new personal favourite). It had a strong roast coffee aroma and flavour profile, a rich, dark beer, yet another great one-off Brooklyn Beer. On tap, with a slight carbonated head on the pour, the espresso aromas mellow as the beer breathes and did not become thin like some other ones we have had. The coffee is from the now famous Stumptown Coffee Roasters out of Oregon.

Complimentary celebratory toast of prosecco...

At the table, first wine was a Chinon, Moulin des Sablons, 2006 Loire Valley, France $44.
This was a good selection for the food, not overly fruity (or flip-side vegetal), slight aromatics, greenness not too apparent.

Betts & Scholl (Grenache), 2006, Barossa Valley, Australia $65 - fruity Australian bomb, high alcohol, reminded us of a big California zinfandel. It puts you to sleep as it almost did to one of our dinner guests.

Potato and Mushroom puff: a nice light start to the meal!

Black Tagliatelle with chorizo, mussels, and calamari.

Lamb Pappardelle with olives, Swiss chard, and lemon confit: This had a wonderfully earthy flavour and rustic taste.

Foie Gras Custard with apple chutney: We have not had foie gras in this form before (softer like a custard versus a thicker spread) but it was still rich, silky smooth and tasty.

Veal Cappelletti: You can never go wrong with home-made pasta! The sauce was light, not too creamy, and the veal cappelletti was full of flavour.

Rack of Lamb with bok choy and broccoli puree: The lamb was prepared medium rare so it was soft and tender.

Rack of Pork and Braised Belly with baby turnips and fingerling potatoes

Sirloin and Braised Flat iron with burnt toast and celery root: The beef was prepared medium rare, keeping the meat very tender.

Yogurt panna cotta with pineapple sorbet and granola: This complimentary palate cleanser was very refreshing!

Our friend ordered this dessert that was gone in a flash!

Coconut Tapioca with passion fruit and coconut sorbets, passion fruit caramel, and cilantro syrup. We loved the different flavours and textures of this dish. The coconut and passion fruit mixed together for a tropical punch offset by the milky gelatinous tapioca and subtle cilantro syrup.

Decaf Cappuccino with heart

Complimentary sweet treats

Warm chocolate bread pudding with Cacao Nib Ice Cream: This was soft, warm, and comforting. The texture was smooth and it tasted like a good home-baked treat should (familiar, satisfying, and delicious).

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Walnut Thyme Ice Cream: A wonderful fluffy chocolate cake with only a hint of the zucchini.

Gramercy Tavern is located at 42 E 20th St (at Broadway).

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