Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern has the elegance of a special-occasion restaurant, but there’s a warmth and comfort in the food and service. The barn-like tavern room in front takes walk-ins, and it’s hard to think of a better place for a casual weeknight dinner of smoked kielbasa, collard greens and spaetzle, paired with one of the beers from their top-notch draft and bottle list. In the formal, flower-filled dining room, the dishes are more elaborate, but the flavors are still straightforward. Chef Michael Anthony is a genius with braised and poached meats, which he pairs with obsessively-sourced local produce.
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From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
Almost two years ago, <a href="/bestnewchefs/?year=2002&chef=4D13A752-ECCC-4000-8AE70F8D973FEB7B">Michael Anthony (an F&W Best New Chef 2002)</a> took over the Gramercy Tavern kitchen from <strong>Craft</strong> chef-owner and <em>Top Chef</em> head judge <a href="/bestnewchefs/?year=1991&chef=F74602A7-01F0-4841-BED3489D81C3472F">Tom Colicchio (a BNC himself, in 1991)</a>. Anthony obsessively sources ingredients for his New American menu from the nearby Union Square farmers’ market. In the dining room, he turns these into dishes like black bass with spaghetti squash; in the more casual tavern, he wood-grills items such as bacon-wrapped trout. The eclectic wine list has an entire page of Rieslings, and bottles from amazing little-known producers like Italian Hofstätter.
We loved: Smoked-to-order Spanish mackerel with brussels sprouts.