Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Our Anniversary...

Last Sunday Husband J and I celebrated our first anniversary. Over the years we've been together, he’s come to learn that the way to my heart is often through my stomach, and many of our major (and some small) milestones have been celebrated with a nice meal.

Months before our anniversary, I pretty much threw down the gauntlet and said that we were going to Gramercy Tavern for our anniversary, AND we were getting the Tasting Menu. Yup, you only get one first anniversary. ☺ The last time we’d been to Gramercy Tavern was about four years ago for my birthday. For those of you who are not familiar with the restaurant, it helped put Tom Colicchio on the NYC culinary map as he was one of the founders and an Executive Chef there before branching out to start his Craft empire and becoming a judge for this little barely watched show called “Top Chef” (Now that Kenny’s out [sorry for the spoiler!!], who do you think is going to win?). Gramercy Tavern prides itself on sourcing its ingredients locally and its fresh, modern American cuisine.

I've realized that I haven’t really written too much about fine dining here on the blog. While I love turkey burgers and hot dogs with the best of them, I actually came to love food and all things eating out through fine dining. Lavish me with perfectly sourced ingredients, extremely knowledgeable wait staff and gorgeous surroundings any day. I’ll take it.

S0 shall we start from the beginning?

When you’re reconfirming your reservation, make sure to let them know that it’s your anniversary ‘cause you get one of these:

Free Champagne! Thanks, Gramercy Tavern!

Now let’s proceed to get our grub on!

First out was of course an amuse bouche:

A small ball of potato soufflé stuffed with olive tapenade. Perfectly airy, light little mini-fritter with nothing oozing out of it (Don’t you hate when that happens, by the way?). Just warm, fluffy, rich potato flavor only made better by the saltiness of the olive tapenade. Those are cheese "shavings" on the bottom, by the way.

To truly start off the tasting menu:

Marinated Sea Scallops, Pickled Swiss Chard stems and Aji Dulce Peppers
Loved…the thinly sliced scallops. Completely and totally refreshing!

Crab and Corn Soup
Oh. My. The corn was sooo sweet. I haven’t had corn that sweet in I don’t know how long. It was a perfect counterbalance to the savory and creamy soup base and bits of fresh crab. At this point, Husband J and I turned to each other and gave each other a look. Gramercy Tavern had not lost its touch.

Smoked Trout with Cippolini Puree and and Pickled Onion
Usually I don’t think very much about trout. If I’ve got a choice, I’ll usually get another type of fish, but this dish now makes me rethink that. This juicy and succulent cut of fish was accompanied by something that I usually don’t like…onions. Look, people can hate on cilantro, which I think is a blessing to the food world, but for some reason people don't vilify onions as much. These were heavenly because of the sweet tart flavor that the pickling produced.

Right about now, I'm going to apologize about the quality of the some of the upcoming pics. I think I was already on the second glass of wine (AFTER the champagne) and making googly eyes at Husband J and so was not paying better attention. Forgive my poor photog skills and not so cool camera, which normally gives me great pics. I mean it was a VERY dark room after all.

Guinea Hen and Summer Beans
Yup. Dark pic :(

The meat was so soft that I thought Henny Penny was still alive. Wooo…Just kidding, but seriously soft and tender and perfectly seasoned. The beans were a delicate, fresh and contemporary version on a succotash. I loved the lightly fried okra.

Veal Loin & Deckle with Heirloom Beans and Shiitake Mushrooms
Yet another dark one..sigh...

I know, I's meat (I'm not supposed to eat meat, remember?). It was good. I had never really had deckle before. Deckle is the fatty portion of a piece of brisket. Fat is good. I am in love with shiitakes, and these were no exception. Another wonderful course. Surprisingly at this point, I wasn't bursting at the seams, but I'd saved my stomach all day for this meal.

Then we got to think about dessert. At this point Husband J was talking about a cheese course to our lovely waitress, Jennifer. Hey, did you think I was going to stop him? Nope! (Yes, I married the right man!!) I asked Jennifer to select a cow, sheep and goat and that one should be pretty sharp (but preferably not the goat). Jennifer had been spot on with wine all night, so I totally trusted her judgment.

Gramercy T. provides honey, almonds and bread as accompaniments to its cheese plates.

Sadly, at this point I think I was feeling the effects of the several glasses of wine, so I did not write down our cheeses; however, I will say that I loved the fact that the goat cheese was rather light as sometimes the tangy sharpness of goat can be too much by itself.

Melon for a palate cleanser and in preparation for dessert.

Yes, my bad tipsy photography skills…Sigh…

A fabulous chocolate mousse
Perfect chocolate. Rich full flavored chocolate, not cloyingly sweet chocolate…Sigh….Also a little message from the kitchen.


We ate these too.

Love petit fours! I think that’s a mini vanilla macaron, a little pistachio nutball (I know that sounds horrible and perhaps a little racy, but it tasted good; and I most definitely cannot remember the name at this point), and a mini caramel chocolate tart.

Plus, these. Look, the wine was taking its toll at this point. ☺

We started chatting with our neighbors (who says NYers are not friendly?), and they let us take a pic of their bad-ass looking sundae. Um..need to come back for this. That and perhaps that cherry cheesecake off to the side and pictured below.

Actually I think they had three desserts! Lucky them!!

Before we left, Jennifer gave us these awesome coffee cake muffins to take home, which I devoured for breakfast.

Thank you, Gramercy Tavern for yet another amazing meal. We will be back and hopefully not wait four years to do it.

P.S. I feel like I might need one of those fancy DSLR thingies now. Although if I can't handle my point and shoot.....


Layla said...

YUM. Just.....yum. That mini caramel tart will haunt my dreams.

BigAppleNosh said...

Happy Anniversary! Everything looks so delicious. I love tasting menus, especially all of the "off menu" extras! :)

Ghenet said...

Happy Anniversary! Now I really want to check Gramercy Tavern out. I've heard great things about it but have never been. Perhaps for my (soon-to-be) hubby's and my first anniversary next year?

lavenderpug said...

that looks amazing!! happy anniversary! i'm really intrigued by the scallop dish.

Mrs. Hot Cocoa said...

Happy anniversary! I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to eat multiple dessert courses.

Katie said...

Mmmmm! Happy anniversary - it definitely looks like you had a wonderful time celebrating!

M and C said...

Happy Anniversary!!


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