Last Thursday was my 33rd birthday. For my gift Rocky wanted to take me to lunch and dinner. We thought we were going to have to wait until the weekend to celebrate(since Sunday is our big day off together), but I actually got my birthday off from work, as did she. So I started looking for dining options. I decided to go with one place I know and love for lunch(Gramercy Tavern) then another place I’d never been to for dinner.
Gramercy Tavern is an amazing restaurant. And Chef Michael Anthony is a bad ass. So we went in for lunch with high hopes and came out singing praises as much as ever.
We got the party started with a bottle of Marc Hebrart Champagne and ordered up the tasting menu(which is an insanely good deal) with a few supplements(of course).
Oysters. I had just been trying to figure out how I was going to work an oyster stop into the bday schedule, then here they come. One raw, fresh and light. One cooked and topped with kale, hearty and meaty.
Lobster Salad. Winter Squash, Spinach and Sesame. With generous chunks of lobster and a fun addition of roe. The squash, diced and pureed, was a nice compliment, not too sweet. The topping of yuzu foam I didn’t care for too much.
Ruby Red Shrimp. Sweet Potato, Farro, Pine Nuts and Brussels Sprouts. A superb plate. The shrimp was well executed and well complimented. The farro and pine nuts gave a great texture. The sweet potato, parsnip, jalapeño sauce gave a light spice.
Halibut. Cauliflower, Cabbage and American Caviar. A good piece of fish atop slightly caramelized cauliflower and soured cabbage. The light vinegar/pickled taste of the cabbage really set off the dish.
Scallop & Lobster Pappardelle. Chorizo, Scallions and Mussels. A tasty seafood pasta. A sprinkle of toasted bread crumb was nice for some crunch. The light chorizo spice was good for a little kick.
Mushrooms & Barley. Arugula, Olives and Parsnips. Another superb plate. The barley was cooked to a wonderful al dente texture. The variety of mushrooms were all seasoned and cooked amazingly to earthy, savory goodness. A small amount of diced parsnip threw in a playful sweetness.
Roasted Pork Loin. Turnips, Buckwheat Ravioli and Charred Onion Broth. Super clean flavors. Moist slices of pork loin. The crisp, fresh root vegetables were fantastic. The strips of seaweed with the allium broth were killer.
Pre-dessert. Apple consomme, pomegranate seeds, lychee foam. Fresh, layered sweetness with a seedy crunch.
Blood Orange. Buttermilk, Pistachio, Tapioca and Cara Cara. When this dessert landed I was thinking how thankful I was I ordered extras. After a few bites my thoughts did a 180. This was a bad ass little bowl. A great combo of sweet and bitter citrus layers with rich buttermilk set off by the textures of the tapioca and candied pistachios.
Coconut Birthday Cake. A nice surprise. For how much I don’t like coconut cake, this was actually pretty enjoyable.
Chocolate Banana Slice. Caramel, Sesame, Black Cardamom and Rum. A solid enough slice of layered cake. Though for me the banana ice cream was too strongly flavored. The accompanying variety of crumbles and powders on the plate were delightful.
Gramercy Tavern Cookie Plate. Good spread of cookies. A couple of them were awesome.
Petit Fours. Fennel macaron. Caramel chocolate. Nougat. A delectable few bites to round out a superb birthday lunch.
Some wines we had:
Date of visit: February 20, 2014
Gramercy Tavern. 42 East 20th Street. NYC 212.477.0777 www.gramercytavern.com