Here's a little blurb from J about our Thanksgiving Eve dinner.
This was actually my first time at Gramercy Tavern. I guess that makes it one of the few restaurants Alice has managed to go to that I haven't. Obviously there was no way I was about to let that stand.
It's an interesting place. We've had most of our more formal meals at more overtly French restaurants, but Gramercy Tavern is in the New American tradition. There's a more overt emphasis on seasonality and perhaps somewhat less complex arrangements. It's an interesting contrast, and an enjoyable experience for planting me firmly in autumn.
The restaurant offers a prix fixe and two tasting menus, one standard and one "vegetable" (emphatically not vegetarian!). We decided to order both tastings. The food was broadly at a very high level, but within that there were a number of highlights.
The lobster salad from the autumn tasting was exquisite; the lobster itself was delightfully textured, while the creamy sunchoke puree harmonized perfectly with the flavor of the lobster itself. Among other accompaniments, little potato chips offered a thoroughly enjoyable texture contrast.
The sunchoke soup was vegetable tasting was similar. It was emphatically vegetable focused but not at all vegetarian, featuring substantial chunks of lobster. It's also lovely to see a dish that meaningfully uses a typical luxury ingredient in a firmly supporting rather than starring role.
The last savory course of special note was the spinach fettuccine on the vegetable tasting, and greatly outshone the corresponding dish on the autumn tasting. The intensity of flavor of the mushrooms was shocking. It was pure earthy, mushroomy goodness.
The desserts were just lovely. Alice's pear dessert was very well-balanced, while I found my deconstructed apple pie (with apple pie ice cream!) satisfying my apple pie craving perfectly.
(Thanks, J. I'll echo the sentiment that my pear dessert almost went down in my books as one of my favorite desserts - ironically, it was the poached pear itself I didn't care for that much. The rest was divine, as I like my desserts both crunchy and creamy in texture.)