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Jam Fiend Pete Wells Gives Three Stars to Gramercy Tavern

The Times critic praises the food and the service at Danny Meyer's 22-year-old-restaurant

[The Tavern Room at Gramercy Tavern]
[The Tavern Room at Gramercy Tavern]
Daniel Krieger

Pete Wells loved the sour cherry jam that accompanied his cheese plate so much that he motioned to keep it even as the servers took the empty plate away. A few minutes later, a server told him: "I told Miro how much you enjoyed the cherry jam, and he was thrilled. It’s his grandmother’s recipe, from Serbia, and he loves making it." He was of course referring to pastry chef Miro Uskokovic, and that little remark is exactly the kind of special touch that makes the service at Gramercy Tavern so charming. Michael Anthony’s savory food is also pretty damn good:

Mr. Anthony’s keen sense of what to do with produce was on full display in the $110 vegetable tasting menu, of course. But I also saw it in the $125 tasting, where blackberries helped out a braised pork shoulder paved with crackling hazelnuts and where a supple hunk of halibut sat over warm summer tomatoes given a briny, oceanic intensity by scraps of kombu. Even over three courses at a fixed price of $98, Mr. Anthony gives you a sense of what’s going on that week in the vegetable patch that few chefs can match.

Wells notes that the more casual Tavern Room up front is "integral to the restaurant’s personality." And the beverage program, which includes an exciting selection of beers and ciders, can’t be beat. Pete gives Danny Meyer’s fine dining restaurant three stars, which is the same rating that Frank Bruni handed out when Michael Anthony took over in 2006.

Gramercy Tavern: A Classic Still on the Move [NYT]

Gramercy Tavern

42 East 20th Street, Manhattan, NY 10003 (212) 477-0777 Visit Website

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