Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Birthday dinner at Gramercy Tavern

This is a little late, yes I am captured by New York, but I spent last Thursday evening having dinner at Gramercy Tavern. It was a pre-bday celebration. The chef Michael Anthony won the 2012 James Beard Award for 'Best Chef NYC'

Gramercy Tavern has high ceilings with dark wood beams and is divided into two sections the lively bar and tavern area then the quieter dining room.The table opted for the full tasting menu of 6 courses in total with an amuse bouche to get us started and a breakfast muffin to take home for breakie the next day to end.

I love a little tipple to start the evening, so I had the Pineapple painkiller. Pineapple infused rum with lemonade and strawberries.

The Amuse bouche of scallop sashimi was sweet in a well balanced tart tomato vinaigrette
Scallop Sashimi served in a tomato vinaigrette

First course of smoked Red Snapper with sunchoke, shiitake mushrooms in a smoked jalapeno broth. The snapper was slightly salty with a light wood (from the smoking) undertone in a ever so tart broth. The smoked fish overpowered the jalapeno a little as I could only pick it up when I tasted the broth seperately.
Red Snapper

Second course smoked hake salad of sweet peas, braised lettuce and pickled ramps. The hake is a mild sweet white fish which took on the smoke beautifully, served in a sweet salty balance broth with firm bordering a moment undercooked sweet peas. Yum, I so love peas they tasted as bright as they looked! 
Smoke Hake Salad
Third course of soft shell crab with sugar snap peas, pickled burdock and carrot mustard vinaigrette. It was lovely dish but the ultra crisp and crunchy batter totally drowned the crab flavour.
Soft Shell Crab
The meat courses begin with medium roasted squab set on a confit of squab with barley, sungold tomatoes and fava beans. The ingredients had good depth of texture with the barley and slightly crunchy beans. The squab was quite gamey, so too me it had an extremely irony taste to it but perfectly cooked. I did enjoy the squab confit more than the medium roasted squab. 
Overall the chef had a heavy seasoning hand with this dish.

I have to caveat that as a South African it is hard to please me with a steak elsewhere in the world because SA meat is top class and full of flavour.
The  final main of Beef sirloin and braised flat iron with roasted mushrooms, garlic scapes and crispy confit potatoes. The beef was perfectly cook served with earthy mushrooms and lifted with crunchy garlic greens as in green beans.
Beef Sirloin & Braised Flat iron
I enjoyed the progression and the difference in the dishes using more or less the same seasonal ingredients. Overall it was a good meal, the essence of comfort food uplifted!

Oh where is dessert you ask? There's a post just for Gramercy Tavern Dessert

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