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Gramercy Tavern (long)

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Gramercy Tavern (long)

Kerry | Jul 26, 2002 11:05 AM

I think I ate myself into a coma...

First, an amuse-bouche of pasta salad with a crispy parmesan tuile was duly inhaled by me and my companion. Then it was time for appetizers: hamachi with lemon vinaigrette and roasted beets for me, and spice-roasted lobster with green tomato chutney and bay leaf. The hamachi was four flavorful hunks of yellowtail sashimi garnished with lemon and fringed by a salad of microgreens, dill, and beets.

My companion ordered the sirloin with roasted mushrooms, bacon and cranberry beans, which arrived looking like a free-form sculpture of a rose, with the red strips of meat aligned in a circular pattern. After munching on the crispy rectangle of salmon skin that topped my meal, I savored my two pieces of salt-baked salmon with chanterelle mushrooms and tender sugar-snap peas.

Not one scrap left of all that. Now it was time to sample from the large cheese menu. I should have taken a page from the zaftig couple’s book and allowed Mike, our astonishingly knowledgeable waiter, to choose our cheese! He arrived at the couple’s table with a large wooden block covered with wedges of about 20 kinds of cheese and lovingly described his favorites.

Notwithstanding our lack of his expertise, we still did well in the cheese department. Mike nodded approvingly as I decided on a Sottocenere al Tartufo (mild, sweet raw cow-milk cheese with truffles). I supplemented the Sottocenere with a Canestrato (salty, firm sheep-milk cheese akin to Romano) and a Humboldt Fog aged goat cheese. The cheese arrived with a plate of breads which we were too full to eat (shame on us!).

Although we were full by now, there was no way we were going to skip dessert. How were we to know that one dessert would become four?

A beaming waiter arrived with a dessert amuse-bouche: small dishes of silken panna cotta under a film of red wine gelee, topped with strawberry sorbet. Although I was disappointed to discover that the warm chocolate soufflé with black mint ice cream had just disappeared from the menu, I was placated with a warm chocolate tart served in an art deco configuration with a small chocolate malted and chocolate sorbet. My companion was very happy with his chocolate caramel tart with caramel ice cream. I decided that I could not pass up the special press pot coffee roasted with cacao nibs and spices… truly some of the best coffee ever.

We were about to explode when a plate of chocolate hazelnut and lemon meringue petit fours arrived. Yes, we ate the entire contents of the plate. Now we were beginning to feel like the protagonist in that Monty Python skit…

.when the aforementioned coffee cakes arrived. We had to draw the line somewhere, so I will be eating the coffee cake today; after I go to the gym!

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