Whenever I had planned to go to Gramercy Tavern, it was always pushed aside in favor of a newer, trendier place. While I was anxious to sample the cooking of the new chef at 11 Madison Park, or replicate an amazing dinner that we had at Cru last summer, or see if Chanterelle was still offering an ethereal breast of duck or the delectable tuna poached in olive oil from a recent dinner, I chose dinner at Gramercy Tavern to celebrate my birthday this past weekend. It was an excellent choice.
We started with a 2001 Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Les Perrieres, which was poured while we were being served a couple of tastes from the kitchen. First up was a crostini with a puree of white beans next to a black olive tapenade, followed by a salad of micro greens with cubes of Pecorino. The wine was tight at first, but opened up nicely in the glass with minerals and apricots with a light citrus finish. It was incredible with the bites of Pecorino. We continued with the wine for our appetizers of oyster stew, roasted sweetbreads, and seared scallops.
Our next wine was a 1999 Clos du Caillou Les Quartz Chateuaneuf du Pape – a nice balance of fruit, earth, and game and an especially wonderful match to my husband’s entrée of seared sirloin with short ribs in a beef consomme and accompanied by spaetzle. The wine also worked well with our “meaty” fish choices, especially my monkfish wrapped in pancetta. A cheese plate was ordered to finish up the wine, and then desserts, with the winner being a chocolate pecan tart with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate mousse cake and caramel ice cream, while delicious, was no competition for the chocolate tart. A plate heaping with cookies and “happy birthday” written in chocolate sauce was a lovely touch. More sweets, and a blueberry muffin to take home was a nice conclusion to our stellar dinner.