We decided to go for the lunch tasting menu because our server told us that the good tavern is very flexible when it comes to replacing items on the tasting menu with items on the ala-carte menu. So we did a bit of switcheroo and our customized tasting menu reads: carrot soup with spiced cashews, striped bass with spaghetti squash, apples and walnut, smoked trout with sunchoke puree and pickled onion vinaigrette, rack of pork and braised belly with baby turnips and adirondack blue potatoes, chef’s selection of farmstead cheeses (bourree, calcagno, and stichelton) and apple tarte tatin with sour cream ice cream.
All the courses were at best competent and at worst forgettable with the exception of 2 items which stood out for being, well, outstanding.
First, the braised pork belly. I consider it an insult to the braised pork belly for it to be paired with the rack of pork which struggled to stay just above the broad mediocrity band. Coming from a culture where pork belly of all manner feature very commonly in the foods that we eat, I was both shocked and gratified to find such a stunning piece of braised pork belly at Gramery Tavern. The melt-in-your-mouth rating for the braised pork belly was strictly off the chart. The other extraordinary item was the skinless smoked trout. Before going to NYC, I’d already read much about it and was very pleased to be able to conclude that the smoked trout does indeed live up to its hype. Essentially, it is a safe bet to google “smoked trout gramercy tavern” and believe every good review in the first 4 pages of the search results. It is that good.
The service was pleasant and warm and the ambience nice and cosy. And at US$55, the tasting menu was fairly reasonably priced. Just remember to go only if you have at least a good two and a half hours to spare because savouring takes time.
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