One of the most beloved, New York restaurants is the Gramercy Tavern. It is so perfect with the most delicious foods from local and seasonal ingredients and its great ambiance. This perfect combination makes it an extremely popular restaurant. We arrived at 6:00 PM and thought that no one would be there this early for dinner, but we were wrong. We were told that we would need to wait an hour to get a table for two. Finally when we were seated, we immediately noticed how polished the restaurant was, but still had this warm, welcoming feeling. It was definitely an upscale restaurant, but it didn't feel stiff. It felt like it was closing the gap between fine and casual dining.
The Gramercy Tavern offers two options; The Tavern or The Dining Room. The Tavern is open continuously throughout the day and offers an à la carte menu and a daily set menu. The Dining Room offers fixed price and tasting menus and is more formal. The Tavern's decor is very clean in a reserved modern way with its wooden details, the exposed brick, and the colorfully painted wall plate. They also have many flowers and plants throughout the room. It is formal, yet it seems comfortable with the loud conversation and the dark wood gives it a warm feeling. It felt great eating there; none of the pretentiousness and fear of doing something wrong that some other restaurants stricken you with. In my experience some of the staff is friendly and was willing to joke around with us. The experience was pretty long-winded. My times we waited for food for 20 minutes making the whole meal almost two hours. We were in no rush, but the service was noticeably leisurely service.
The food there was so delicious! They have an extensive list of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), wines, and beers. I ordered the Ginger Swizzle which was super refreshing mixture of ginger beer, mint, and lime juice. It had a burst of fresh ginger flavor and the mint added a herbaceous contrast. All of their ingredients are sourced locally from New York farmers markets, which is why their menus change very often. We started with the duck liver mouse that was impossibly airy and creamy. The toasted crisp bread and the sour pickles complemented the rich mouse so well.
Then I had the Duck Confit and Sausage that was so tender and juicy. The skin was crisp and fatty. The beans were very soft, but not mushy that was good with the meat. The sausages were a little salty, but added a smoky element to the dish. Nothing was overwhelming because it was so well balance with the duck as the star. The salty, smoke, crisp sausage were balanced out by the soft, creamy beans. The Cobia was very tender and well cooked. The rice had a very strong flavor of seafood that was so delicious. I loved the seafood rice together with the fish because it added two different flavors of the sea.
For dessert we ordered what cookie plate. It was a genius take on childhood cookies that were taken up many notches, They had the Oreos and Poptarts and chocolate chip cookies. They were the classic deserts that we had, but taken to a gourmet level.
I loved the food at the Gramercy Tavern. The food was so well presented and the service was amazing. I appreciate the little things like when you got up they would come fold your napkin or when they made a small mistake they would be able to joke about it with you. Overall Gramercy Tavern has to be one of my favorite restaurants in New York.