42 East 20th Steet - Just down the street from TR's birthplace
Empty table but not for long
It'll make you giddy
Update: Check out this NY Times Sunday Metro piece (25 April) on Danny Meyer's sharing his hospitality secrets through his new consulting business, Hospitality Quotient. Nice is Lesson 1.
I remember reading the NY Time's restaurant review of Gramercy Tavern when it first opened 15 years ago. I was on the commuter train to work in Chicago and it was a Wednesday morning. Had to have been. That's when the restaurant review ran. I don't remember who wrote it. Possibly Ruth Reichel but not sure.
What I am sure of was a B&W picture of two women sitting at a table framed by the simple letters of the restaurant on the front window. One woman elegantly tilted back a glass of white wine as if she was taking the very last sip. It was the sexiest newspaper photo I have ever seen. When I got to my office I called the Times and asked how I could buy it. The Times didn't really care about what I wanted - - but Gramercy Tavern does.
I haven't been in a better restaurant. It's rare I don't find something to bitch about but never here. Flawless and intelligent service by people who know the menu and are passionate about food - - not pretentious. Fantastic local and seasonal menus that change but always a pasta that melts in your mouth. Hell, even the nuts at the bar beat out what was once the premier nut dish of New York - The King Cole.
A wine list where I've been steered to what became magnificent obsessions of mine - - Sagrantino di Montelfalco and Domaine Serene Evenstad to name two. A room that is simple and elegant and not a stick out of place. I look up from my plate and see a famous actress and I don't give a shit. Any of the anxiety I brought in off the street melts out my feet. I am calm and at peace and I am happy. It's expensive but it's cheaper than therapy.