Though it’s true that I am likely moving away from blogging about meals as much as I did in the past (especially… are you ready for this? I had a post in the queue about Chop’t before my sabbatical, which may have been one of the things to send me over the edge of just how inane has my blog become? – though I pride myself on representing a very real view of what your average NYer eats, sometimes, it’s just a salad, and no one cares… unless you care to chime in and tell me you really want to see that… well, I might anyway, I think I had good pictures of that meal, ahem long rambly parenthetical…), there are just some meals that deserve to be spotlighted, that deserve to have the photos I took with my dSLR (which I haven’t used much in the past 3 months…) displayed.
Gramercy Tavern is one such meal.
While it’s unlikely a secret that I’m a bit of a princess, generally, on someone else’s birthday, I let them choose the location of the meal. However, given that 1- Josh told me if I wasn’t having dinner with him [ON his birthday, mind you], he’d probably just have a random burger somewhere, go to a bar alone and call it a night, and 2- it had become a bit of a running joke between us that he would take me to Gramercy Tavern, I suggested we hit Gramercy Tavern to make it a real celebration.
Besides, he knew a guy, so despite not having a reservation, we were seated immediately.
Gramercy Tavern boasts a Michelin star and a fantastic deal in their tavern: a four course prix fixe meal for $48 ($68 with wine pairings). After just glancing at the menu, we both decided this would be the way to go.
And to make this a real celebration, I gave into peer pressure and had a cocktail – my first drink in almost 2 months at this point. (Bombay Sapphire, St. Germain, seltzer, and a twist. Yes, I ordered it just like that.)
The benefits of knowing someone working FOH: an extra dish was sent out for us to enjoy. As this was back in mid-May, I can’t rightly say that I remember all the details, except that it was octopus. Josh gamely tried it, reaffirmed he doesn’t like octopus, and gave me the rest of his. I happily ate all of it.
Our next course Josh declared much more to his speed: a soft shell crab sandwich, with ramp pine nut aioli (obviously was ramp season) and kale slaw. In fact, he took what I couldn’t finish and ate it as well. I liked it – just wanted to save room for the other courses.
Our final entree course: grilled flatiron steak with fingerling potatoes, maitake mushrooms, and sugar snap peas with an herb butter. I really enjoyed this course a lot – meaty, but not overly filling, and just the right combination of earthy and fresh.
Our dessert course was another exquisitely perfect dish: strawberry shortcake with vanilla bean whipped cream and strawberry ice cream. Fresh, bright flavors, with the proper biscuit accompaniment… everything just worked really well together to create just the right finish to a truly lovely meal.
Yvo says: A pretty fantastic meal made possible by a very generous boss (thanks Josh! … even though it was YOUR birthday …). I highly recommend this experience to anyone who wants to celebrate on a budget: dining in the tavern shows no difference in the quality of food or service, but the price difference is good for those minding their wallets.