I’ve been fortunate enough to eat in some incredible restaurants but actually some of my favourite places have been made so by more than just the food. The memory of a mood, the warmth of the company, the smile that left with me. Whatever it was, some places leave an indelible marker in your mind.
I don’t want to overly romanticise this. For example, ask me about pizza and I think of a curb side pizzeria on a random corner in NYC, surrounded by workmen but being served the best slice of margarita pizza for $1! What I’m getting at is that if you’re a “foodie” like me, food is often about so much more than just sustenance or instant gratification. It is a feeling, a mood, a social interaction, a celebration, of the food and of those enjoying it.
For me, Gramercy Tavern really is all of those things.
On our first visit we were blown away by the welcome we received. As I’ve mentioned before, I appreciate how tricky good service can be and whilst American service often knocks the socks off of English, it can be a little overzealous at times (I generalise obviously). Gramercy had the balance just right, greeting us warmly, offering us congratulations on our nuptials and being attentive but not overbearing. Then came the food. It was unlike anything I had ever tasted before and that was my marker moment right there.
When I started planning my next trip to NYC for our fifth wedding anniversary, Gramercy Tavern was at the very top of my to-do list. It was entirely feasible I had romanticised our first visit given it was part of our honeymoon, so I was a little cautious. Did I want to risk my happy memory? Plus part of this trip included meeting up with my brother and his new wife, who had also chosen NYC as the first destination of their honeymoon. When we started talking about the trip, my first thought was that they must come with us to Gramercy. But with that came more trepidation. It was their honeymoon and Gramercy was our special place. What if they didn’t like it? What if it detracted from how we felt? But my reservations were short lived. Gramercy lived up to all of our expectations and more. I was really shocked at how emotional I was at returning there. How comfortable and relaxed I instantly felt. The food was every bit as incredible as we had remembered. If I close my eyes now I can still imagine the intense flavour of the farfalle with clams and bacon. Watching the newlyweds savour the meal and share their first experience of Gramercy Tavern was so special.
From the exquisite floral displays to the seemingly effortless (which we know cannot be true) but perfected service, and most importantly to the spectacular food – of which every mouthful is divine – Gramercy Tavern is a full on sensory assault of the very best kind. I don’t have enough superlatives to convey how highly I rate this restaurant.