For the many restaurants that I have eaten in NYC, I must confess that Gramercy Tavern is still one of my all time faves. If I have eaten in the front room 50 times, I have eaten there 100 times. I have been a patron since the day the door opened. For as many times that I have eaten in the front room, I have only eaten in the back room 3 times. As of this week, I can make that 4. For the future, there will be many more.
The room in the back is warm and inviting. I love the decor. Big heavy curtains, great acoustics and comfy seating. Where ever you are sitting there seems to be so many angles that you are part of the entire room while being in your own separate space. Very smart.
I went with the newly formed Board for Curbed. The good news is that the chefs knew we were there, as Curbed is the umbrella of Eater, so we were treated to a variety of extra goodies. The bad news is that we were treated to a variety of extra goodies. I literally rolled out of there. A bit of a shoveling event.
You will have to give me a little rope here because there is no way I can recall everything we ate. Could be the quantity of food but more than likely the alcohol.
We began with 3 tiny tastes from the chef. All delicious. Then the food really begins. I began with a crab dish. A light fluffy egg crepe folded over and stuffed with pieces of warm crab sitting over a light sauce. Different, very French. After that appetizer, we had 5 appetizers delivered to the table. We each took a bite and passed to the right. One thing that stood out was the butternut squash. A small custard of butternut squash with small pieces of pear inside and topped with roasted pine nuts. Rich and creamy and like the crab, creative.
After that our main courses came. I had the duck. Thinly sliced medium-rare duck breast over a grilled piece of endive that has a sherry vinaigrette on it. On the side is a sweet potato mixture. I believe we might have had another course of something else in between but I honestly can't remember.
Last and certainly not least were the desserts. First thing was in a small bowl sat 2 tiny sweet buttermilk shortcakes with sauteed apples and a dot of whipped cream. 2 bites was all you got and it was perfect. Sweet, buttery and yummy apples. It would have been enough to call the meal over at that point. But no, then out comes 5 desserts, one different for each of us. So overwhelming including the small plates of truffles and candies. There were a few highlights. The pineapple upside down with frozen yogurt was not only beautiful it was delicious. The butterscotch sundae was also a treat. The last plate that came my way was the peanut butter semifreddo. A creamy chocolate peanut butter mixture with a bunch of salty nuts running through it. It was so unbelievably divine but there was no way I could do more than take a few bites. I did consider finishing it off but thought I might explode.
First of all, having a Board dinner before the meeting the next day has many pros. We all got to know each other better and talk a little business. Then there is always the concern the next morning, did everyone else drink and eat as much as me? That was confirmed the next day, we all did.
Always a pleasure to go to Gramercy Tavern. Also, very excited about the variety of things in the works for Curbed and all the other properties. 2010 will be a very good year for this company. I can just feel it.