Gramercy Tavern One of New York's Best


Old classic American cuisine served in a rustic yet sophisticated and elegant New England style setting. When you walk into Gramercy Tavern you can expect a few things: simple yet stunning floral arrangements to lift and awaken your senses, a gracious staff that is attentive and accommodating, and food that consistently delivers on the solid reputation of this fine establishment.




It was a sweltering Saturday when my husband and I were on our way to the Union Square Farmer's Market and decided to stop at the tavern for a lazy afternoon lunch. This followed a tough week at work for the both of us, so the experience at Gramercy Tavern was going to be well-deserved.


As a starter, I was served duck liver mousse, which was a rich creamy port-like spread generously dolloped onto crisp and lightly charred piece of bread. This was a satisfying bite showcasing the sweet unctuous-quality of pâté. An excellent way to start the meal, this bite of duck mousse was given compliments of the house. I think the waiter, after observing how intensely I was debated between the duck mousse and the squid salad, took pity on me and concluded that I should try both. It was an unexpected gesture that was very much appreciated, and I am glad to have not missed such a decadent treat. 


Another appetizer was a porchetta salad, draped with slices of slowly roasted fatty and tender pork on lightly dressed tender escarole. As you can imagine the porchetta was decadent, like soft thick cut slices of fresh bacon patiently roasted over a day. It's a bit confusing that something so rich and heavy is paired with such delicate tender Spring greens, but the contrast succeed in highlighting the quality of the pork. $16


Also for an appetizer we were served a squid salad, which is a refreshing and beautifully balanced combination of tender squid with sweet crunchy carrots and toasted pine nuts. This salad focuses on a unique perspective of squid that is not often highlighted, which is its sweetness using the support of finely julienned carrots. $12



My husband ordered the pulled pork sandwich integrated with sweet barbecue sauce. A bit messy and entirely satisfying. $18


I ordered a grilled sea bass, served over swiss chard leaves accompanied by a creamy lemon sauce with pine nuts. The fish was seared well on high heat over a cast iron grill that produced a crisp exterior and moist silky flesh that was lightly kissed with a smoky flavor from the iron's singe. This is a dish I would order again. $22


Accompanying our fare were two rare vintage beers imported from Japan. This is the first time I have tasted a vintage beer that was brewed in oak casks, one was from 2002 ($19) and the second was from 2004 ($17). Interestingly the second beer was brewed with spices such as coriander, orange peel, cinnamon and vanilla. Both beers were good and we enjoyed each for its novelty. If vintage Japanese beer does not entice you, Gramercy Tavern has an impressive and extensive wine list, a knowledgeable staff to assist in selection. 


By the end of the meal we were satiated, and decided to skip dessert. However, the gracious staff whisked forward a plate of cookies compliments of the house. From snickerdoodle to Mexican wedding cakes and chocolate chip, and oh did I mention biscotti? The delicate bunch of cookies was a sweet way to end the meal.

Service is very attentive but not intrusive. Gramercy Tavern balances casual and elegance beautifully, making it an appropriate venue for anyone looking to meet a good old friend to a place to impress the parents of your significant other when meeting them for the first time. 


42 E 20th Street 
Between Park Ave and Broadway
No reservations
(212) 477-0777

Other NYC Restaurants I recommend

57 comments:

Sweet and Savory said...

Beautifully described... Exquisite photos. Thanks for this. I really enjoyed it.

Mhel said...

Very well-written. great pictures! Love the rustic and homey ambiance of the restaurant. Love the duck liver mousse appetizer. I always have a thing with duck liver. The porchetta salad looks lovely too. and i would love to try those vintage beers!

bellini valli said...

This sounds like a perfect place to spend a few hours:D

Penny said...

I love the Gramercy Tavern. I remember having a wonderful beef stroganov there. Your photos are beautiful.

Beth said...

Ah! This place is just lovely! I long for the visit to NYC that is long and relaxed enough to discover true restaurant jems, instead of just eating at whatever is convenient!

Mari's Cakes said...

Beautiful place, Love their decor and the food looks delicious. Is not far from my Mom's place, so I'll know where to go next time I visit.


Have a blessed day!

Belinda @zomppa said...

I'm still thinking about that duck liver mousse! Gotta love a place that gives free cookies.

Foodessa said...

Now...this is my kind of eatery.
Any establishment who serves beer in those fancy glasses will no doubt get me as a loyal patron. The decor alone would put me in the perfect state of mind. The food looks amazingly prepared and so very appetizing ;o)
I've defintely bookmarked this place for my next trip into NY city.
Thanks for sharing this treasure.
Flavourful wishes, Claudia

Trissa said...

Christine, I miss New York! I wish I could visit again - and maybe get a reservation at the Gramercy Tavern - would love to try the squid salad.

Joanne said...

I've walked by this place so many times on my way to the farmer's market and have never gone in! The fish you ordered looks absolutely delicious..between that and the pulled pork, I wouldn't know what to order. Great review!

El said...

Great review and beautiful pictures. I think the cookies would be a must try. How were they?

Cathy said...

What a beautiful lunch. I would love to try that scrumptious squid salad. And your photo are mouth watering. Lovely post.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Christine, what a lovely meal. The duck pate would been enough reason to visit. I feel like I've been with you thanks to your fabulous photos.
Sam

kat said...

Beautiful place & I love how that plate of cookies looks like you are in someones home

high low said...

One of my favorite restaurants in the whole city! They also have a great craft beer list that my hubby enjoys!

OysterCulture said...

What a lovely place, I've never had the chance to try it (yet) but when I do, I know what I'm getting.

nancy at good food matters said...

I have yet to visit The Gramercy Tavern, (someday!) although I have dined at another of Danny Meyer's establishments: Union Square Cafe. The consistent level of excellent service, delicious food, and soothing ambience are hallmarks of his restaurants---and explain why they continue their huge success.

Thanks for sharing your dining experience--I was right there with you!

5 Star Foodie said...

A terrific meal! I've heard so much about Gramercy Tavern but we haven't been there yet. Actually, my husband may have eaten there during one of his business trips, I'll have to ask him.

TKW said...

I'm hoping to hit Gramercy when I'm in NYC in August--that fish looks sublime!

Sweet and Savory said...

Wow - what a great restaurant!

By the way - you won the coupons for Organic Valley products over at my blog! Check it out for details!

Pam said...

So sorry you both had a rough week! Your photo's are so beautiful! Enjoy!

deana(lostpastremembered) said...

I am so fond of Gramercy... I don't know if it's possible to have a bad time there as the staff is perfect... they are all psychic! WOnderful descriptions and nummy food... I have never ever heard of vintage beer, who knew!!!

A Canadian Foodie said...

You are a master when describing a meal, Christine... and I just did pulled pork in the sous vide machine, too - coincidentally. It isn't posted because I haven't served it yet. I am dying to try it. Excellent photos. The duck live looks deadly.
:)
Valerie

The Diva on a Diet said...

What a wonderful way to spend a warm afternoon. Everything looks scrumptious! And its nice to hear that the staff is so gracious ... how lovely. :)

Elizabeth in SLO said...

Lovely pictures and write-up of your lazy lunch. Looks delicious and inviting!

tasteofbeirut said...

I like the atmosphere of the place; elegant, sure, but cozy and comfortable too. I love that duck liver paté!!! I could easily make a meal of that! Your photos are beautiful and it was an enjoyable visit, albeit vicarious!

sweetlife said...

beautiful place to visit after your long week, your dish looks amazing with the cream suace, and the pulled pork was not far behind...i love the vintage beers and complimentary cookies, how sweet

sweetlife

Mimi said...

As always a great review.
Mimi

Kim said...

The tavern looks to be full of character. Your fish dish looks nothing short of amazing. Of course, I have a mean sweet tooth so the cookies are calling my name!

knk said...

you are correct this is really best , have to visit once

Bridgett said...

I love visiting places such as this where there is loads to look at while you linger over a wonderful lunch. Your descriptions made me feel like I just went for a visit!

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog said...

What a fabulous and cozy place.

Great to drink these Japanese beers of 2002/2004 they are drink-gems!

I see you've had a very satisfying meal but skip the dessert..come on :)

Cheers,

Gera

Angie's Recipes said...

A very relaxing and pleasant place to wine and dine.

Pam said...

Complimentary cookies!

lisa said...

I love the pretty flowers! And, the food looks amazing of course. Sounds like a very fun lunch, and I'd love to try those vintage beers.

HT said...

Excuse me. I quickly go get a dry cloth to wipe the drool from my computer's keyboard! Yummy!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Oh, how delightful! It's been so many years since I've been to Gramercy Tavern. The mousse looks luscious!

Lori Lynn said...

One of our favorites. The food, service and ambiance all stupendous!
Your photos would make them proud.
LL

sophia said...

Oooh I've always wanted to visit! And take an inside-look...thanks for doing it for me for free! The sea bass is such a good choice...love the pine nuts in there!

Carolyn Jung said...

The spectacular array of blooms at the restaurant is just breath-taking. Though, it pales in comparison to that pulled pork sandwich. ;)

Barbara said...

Marvelous photos, Christine! You do such a good job with them and with your reviews! I enjoyed it so much!

Ingrid DeVilliers said...

Christine...what a lovely post with beautiful photographs! Gramercy Tavern looks very warm and inviting and I love the beautiful flowers! Lunch looked delicious!
Ixx

Sara said...

Gorgeous pictures and wonderful descriptions. I could almost taste that fish!

knk said...

hi hoew are you today gret posy i am so happy to see you in my blog i like it

Sarah M. Winchester said...

Ooo I need to go here next time I am in New York. I had thought about going there when I was last in Manhattan, but another snow storm cam through so my cousin and I just cooked at home. On the bonus side here grocer in mid-town had these amazing mini brussel sprouts that I have only seen one other time in the restaurant Moo... here in Boston

Love your blog. So great to find you :)

Tricia said...

I'm definitely going to have to check this place out next time I'm in NYC--and I'd love to meet you!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

What a beautiful place to have a relaxing meal! Delicious pictures and crave inducing descriptions!

Sweet and Savory said...

Hey - it's Ally from Sweet & Savory again, sorry to be a bother...but can you email me your mailing address so I can have Organic Valley ship you the coupons you won?

Thanks!
sweetandsavoryfood@hotmail.com

baking.serendipity said...

Your photos are beautiful! I wouldn't have been able to resist the cookies either :)

Margot said...

The inside of the Gramercy Tavern is just breath taking. I love your pictures Christine. Beautiful job!

Juliana said...

Wow, what a nice place and everything sure looks delicious :-)

SinoSoul said...

3 years of living in NYC and I never made it here. kinda ticks me off. Summers (and open restaurants) are great for taking natural light dinner photos. Better eat out more often...

Chef E said...

Oh my tummy is growling- I am ready for dinner at 8 AM in the morning!

Trix said...

I really need to figure out this trick you have of getting handed free things at a place like Gramercy Tavern! Well done! Looks like an amazing lunch.

John Dryzga said...

Love Gramercy Tavern and the rest of the Danny Meyer-verse. I wish I could taste that duck mousse through the screen.

Emily said...

Gorgeous photos as always. I love the fresh flowers and beautiful wine selection featured. Sounds like a lovely place to dine!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Yes, yes, this is on our ever expanding list for our next trip to NYC! Gorgeous photos!