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Gramercy Tavern

Not Rated.
Gramercy TavernGramercy Tavern
BA SCORE
100
world-class

39 Ratings
Ratings: 39
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 6.51%
Taps: 8
Bottles: 57
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

42 E 20th St
New York, New York, 10003-1300
United States
phone: (212) 477-0777

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 39 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rojapa
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

rojapa, Friday at 01:47 PM
Photo of JoeMans
4.75/5  rDev +3%

JoeMans, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of Roze
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Roze, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of Ant4711
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Ant4711, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of Halfbrother83
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Halfbrother83, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

SkiBum22, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of Bwagner1122
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Bwagner1122, May 26, 2014
Photo of richj1970
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

richj1970, May 19, 2014
Photo of tainohawk
5/5  rDev +8.5%

tainohawk, May 05, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.79/5  rDev +3.9%

I finally visited Gramercy Tavern, after ten years living in Manhattan! Took a dear friend of mine there for her birthday. The place is warm, elegant, cozy and rustic-chic without being fussy. Just about the perfect atmosphere for my liking. You don't need a jacket or tie, and you won't have 400 waiters hovering around you like at, say, Per Se. Classy and casual, gotta love it.

They have the tavern area upfront, with the bar and a bunch of tables and no reservations, and then the formal dining room in the back past a wall. We had lunch in the dining room and enjoyed it enormously. The food is fairly simple but perfectly cooked, and not expensive. Chef Michael Anthony has a great way with grains like farro, quinoa and lentils. The fish is also expertly cooked, with stock and water instead of butter for a lighter, "purer" feel.

The beer list is not as extensive as I expected but still lovely. Cool vintages, such as Night Stalker 2010, Double Bastard 2011 and a mighty Old Crustacean 2003 to die for- a seriously delicious barleywine in the English tradition of J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale that is drinking outrageously now, eleven years later. Non-vintage bottled brews include Hanssens, Dupont, Schlenkerla, Professor Fritz and other European brews that pair well with food.

On draft they have eight beers, from Allagash White to Avery Hog Heaven and Evil Twin Lil' B with Stone Sublimely, Crooked Stave and Firestone Pilsner in between. Nothing earth-shattering here, but good enough.

Service is impeccable, food is just about perfect and the place is just around lovely. A good value too, at least for lunch, with appetizers at $12-$16 and entrees at around $25.

Can't wait to go back!!

DoubleSimcoe, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of jgasparine
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%

Atmosphere-
The first thing I saw when walking in was random-width, wide plank, face nailed wood flooring. The bar and dining area built on this platform was warm and walked the line between comfortable and high-society. We got there around 4:30pm, and quickly found a spot at the bar, but within an hour, the place was buzzing with activity, and bar seats were a commodity. Other patrons were shockingly friendly (for New York). Overall, a great atmosphere. I recommend dressing "smart".

Quality-
Everything about this place screams quality. Everything is clean. Time was taken by their beer buyer to put together a quality list. Wine and spirits offered behind the bar were middle to high-end. Even the free almonds they give you at the bar were just fantastic.

Service-
Service was reasonably prompt; even when the place got real busy. The servers never made us feel rushed, which was good. Didn't given them super high marks in this category because it still took a few minutes to get the bartender's attention, but once we had it, the service was great.

Selection-
There is a small selection of draught beer. I want to say there were 6 taps or so. All were craft, all were solid beers, many of which were local. Nothing too extreme on tap the day I was there. It wasn't until the end of my visit that I looked at their bottle list and saw the wonderful collection of vintage beers. They did a great job of stocking brews that improve with age, and some of their brews were 5+ years old. While the beer selection by COUNT wasn't too big, they have more than made-up for a smaller selection with superb QUALITY.

Food-
I ordered a smoked octopus and potato stew, just because it sounded strange... and it was AMAZING.

Value-
While the prices were a bit high, when you consider that you are in NYC (where prices are generally high), you really get a decent value for your money. It's hard not to rack-up a big bill here, but you can do that just about anywhere in NYC with lesser quality goods.

Note to self-
Get back to this place next time you're in NYC!

jgasparine, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -13.2%

GRG1313, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of Chris_Coughlin
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Chris_Coughlin, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of drinker36
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%

Gramercy Tavern is a fine upscale establishment with great food, service, and a very diverse high end, quality beer list which you can find here:

http://www.gramercytavern.com/_media/uploads/cocktail_beer.pdf

It should be noted that the restaurant is segregated into the tavern and formal dining room. My experience and thus my review is for the tavern only. You get everything you would expect from a Michelin Star restaurant in the tavern.

On to the details:

I was fortunate enough to visit during 2013 NYC Craft Beer week and sat at the bar while I waited for the rest of my party. The bartender was very polite and seemed to know quite a bit about the beers on the menu. I was excited to see Alchemist Heady Topper on the menu and quickly ordered one. Quick service and stellar presentation.

My party arrived as I was finishing my heady topper and we put in for a table (tavern is 1st come / first served) We were told the wait would be 1 to 1.5 hours and at the one hour mark (and another heady topper plus a Peekskill Simple Sour later) we were seated.

We tired a few appetizers and then their beer tasting menu (special for NYC craft beer week that included 4 course paired with 4 great tapped beers) and the Tavern burger. All the food was exceptionally prepared and delicious. I won't go into details other than to describe the beer tasting menu dessert. It was a Maine Beer Company Stout in a glass with a shot of coffee liquor, scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of chocolate. It was Awesome.

Final Judgement - I highly recommend visiting this fine establishment if you have the time and money. It's pricey but follows the old adage "You get what you pay for".

Two added comments:
1) thanks to my brother n'law for paying the bill : )
2) Dress - jeans are OK, but I wouldn't recommend tennis shoes or t-shirts if you're stopping in. That said I doubt they'd turn you away and you'd most likely still get the same impeccable service.

drinker36, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of Clembo1957
4.14/5  rDev -10.2%

As pointed out in other reviews The Gramercy Tavern is an upscale restaurant with a good beer list rather than a bar. On a Thursday evening the restaurant was fairly busy, i had no problem getting in wearing Jeans / check shirt but no tables were available unless you wanted to wait to eat and all the bar stools were occupied. I got served at the bar no problem but had to stand in a quiet corner to drink my pint. The beer list isn't bad and i had no quibbles with the quality however my pint of Stone IPA was $9 a pint.

The Gramercy is worth a visit, just don't expect a beer bar (and bring plenty of ca$h!)

Clembo1957, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of MikeGill
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%

Visted on 3/2/10

Gramercy Tavern is not a beer bar. It is a highly rated upscale restaurant with a sophisticated yet relaxed tavern room. The reason this place deserves mention on this site is because they have commited to maintaining an excellent beer list.

This review will focus on the front tavern area rather than the more formal dining room because in my opinion the tavern is far more exciting and well, that's where they keep the bar! The more formal dining room in back is not made out to be like a VIP section. In fact, many people prefer dining in the bar area. Meaning, you are not left at the bar with beer in hand wondering what is going on in back and wishing you had a reservation.

I would say that the beverage program at Gramercy places far more emphasis on wine and cocktails than it does beer. But that is not to say that the beer list is lacking. They have eight taps as well as an ecletic bottle list and a full page dedicated to vintage beers and ciders.

The food is delicious. The dishes served in both the tavern and the dining room are beautifully composed with subtle elegance. There are also many beer friendly cheeses on hand. The service is top notch. While waitering in NYC, I worked with many who trained at Gramercy and they were always on point.

Gramercy Tavern is a fine place which is deserving of its excellent reputation. I try to stop here every time budget and geography permits.

MikeGill, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of BeerNemesis
5/5  rDev +8.5%

I've been here a number of times, and I always enjoy it. The food is simply phenomenal, very delicious. However, the selection is really the only problem -- there are a limited number of items with infrequent turnover (though they are usually all fantastically tasty). Having gone many times, I get various amuse bouche and other culinary surprises gratis, which has let me enjoy the full selection.

When it comes to beer, the selection is anything but limited. The Gramercy Tavern has a massive list of beers (about 7 are on tap, while 30 or so more come bottled). It also has an excellent selection of vintage beers (Another 25 or so more). I had a 2007 Hennepin that was absolutely delicious, and quite different than the Hennepin I'm used to.

The atmosphere is really perfect -- a sophisticate restaurant meets American tavern sort of deal. There is classic American artwork on the walls, nice displays, and many tables. Service is fantastic.

The Gramercy Tavern is a must visit for exquisite food paired with equally auspicious beer.

BeerNemesis, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of Nickls
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%

(From notes)

Well, this was my 'goodbye' to New York lunch before moving to Switzerland. I can't think of a more appropriate 'do it up' type of place for me and the occasion, and Gramercy Tavern didn't let me down.

The lady and I visited during late lunch time, and asked to be seated in the tavern area next to the large window. The bar area, and 'tavern' side, are really stunning. It's what one would imagine a world class bar to look like, and there are simply no corners cut in any facet. I agree with other reviewers in that this is a wonderful restaurant that happens to have excellent brews. The tap list was fantastic and really well thought out. I had a SN Harvest and the lady a Manhattan Project. The bottle selection is nice, but very pricey. Loved the fact that they had vintage ales...nice selection of those especially.

The food was simply excellent, and it would have been a great meal even without the beer selection. The service was as one would expect at a top notch restaurant, perfectly timed, helpful, and welcoming without being intrusive.

Fantastic place for a special moment, and certainly would recommend. For what it's worth, the menu at lunch time was very reasonably priced relative to the amount and quality of food you are given. You can spend twice the amount at a lesser place in Manhattan and have a lower quality meal.

Nickls, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%

What a great place this is! More a fancy restaurant with great beer than a beer bar but I am very happy it is listed on BA. We would never have found it otherwise.

The restaurant has two rooms. We sat in the tavern in front. Large bistro tables and comfortable chairs flank a 12 seat bar. The room is beautifully decorated with fancy tablescapes and floral arrangements and wall murals. Intimate, only a bit formal.

The beer selection is not large but there is no BMC product at all. Eight drafts which on our visit included Stone 13th Anniversary, Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Racer 5 and Chambly Noire. The bottle list is also rather small and, while all craft, rather less inspired.

Food was really outstanding. Fish croquette and octopus apps were terrific. Same with the duck confit and striped bass entrees. We closed out the meal with an outstanding 7 cheese selection.

A bit pricey compared to a beer bar but quite reasonable for lunch at an upscale Manhattan restaurant.

Highly recommended.

HV

sholland119, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of hooliganlife
4.56/5  rDev -1.1%

Went here specifically because they had Stone IPA on tap. Did not let down!

this place is nice... i almost felt sort of scrubby walking in. I knew befor hand that it was a nicer place but inside, its NICE! We sat at the bar and ordered our pints. all pints were properly poured and served in a very timely matter. prices were a smidge high in general but it IS new york city and this place was upscale. The selection was all craft beers. it is not the largest but quality wise, it was top notch. the bathrooms had little hand towels for drying your hands that were constantly re-stacked with the old removed. we did not order any food as we ate else where. over all, this is hands down one of the nicest bars i have ever been to.

hooliganlife, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of gregc
5/5  rDev +8.5%

The Gramercy Tavern is a world class establishment.

The beer selection is always very nice. About 6-8 taps usually filled with some nice locals (Captain Lawrence, Sixpoint, Brooklyn)
They usually have a nice selection of varying types of beer. They also have a vintage beer list with selections ranging from vintage cantillon to vintage anchor, brooklyn and rogue.

There are two menus. One for the tavern area which is first come first serve. Most of the food is cooked in the open kitchen area of the tavern on a wood burning stove. The food is excellent and high end local ingredients are always used. Apps are anywhere from $12-19 and dinners are $17-$25.
The main dining room is prix fixe and cost $86. The quality of food again is amazing. You cant go wrong eating here, but it does being to get a bit pricey.

Service is the best in NYC, very professional waiters, bartenders and chefs. The bartenders and waiters are very knowledgeable when it comes to the beer, and the vintage beer is treated like a fine wine when they present it at you table.

gregc, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of marcpal
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%

February 23, 2009:

In the city area on business so I took the opportunity to visit this establishment that I have heard nothing but great things about. Surely did not disappoint. Not in the slightest.

The atmosphere at the bar was pleasant, mostly a yuppie crowd that was pretty much booming on a Monday night. So much for a bad economy.

Service was top notch. The bartenders knew both the food and the beer and were always ready to back you up on bread, new settings, and to give a sample of the tap beers. Suggestions for the food were surely spot on.

The selection of beers for an establishment like this with upscale food was fantastic. The on tap selections were not a laundry list but what was there was really good stuff. I had the pleasure of enjoying a Lagunitas IPA, Cpt Lawrence Liquid Gold, and Brooklyn Blunder Old Ale. All great stuff with generous pours for only $8 each which is a solid buy in the city, especially this section. The bottle list was nice as well but a little more on the too-high price range.

Food was fantastic. The bread was constantly brought out with oil/vinegar and I enjoyed the octopus (possibly best I ever had) roasted cauliflower dish (great) and calimari and carrot salad (the only one that wasnt too great, but surely not bad) and the prices were reasonable.

I did tell my wife that I want to go there for my birthday again because it is rare to get such good cuisine and beermanship in a place like this. Good job Gramercy in advocating quality craft beer.

Nitpicking, but it would be pretty cool if they offered suggestions on the menu for beer pairings for those that are newer to craft beer that may be intimitated by choosing although the servers there seem to know more than enough.

marcpal, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%

January 2009:

There are dozens and dozens of places to drink good beer in NYC and hundreds of great spots for food. There aren't a ton of places, however, that allow you the luxury of both. Gramercy Tavern is a place that does and it's probably where you'll find the best of each.

Knowing I would be arriving into Manhattan that morning after a dreadfully long overnight bus ride, I thought there would be no better occasion to treat myself to a nice lunch. I had made a reservation for noon and already by then was well deserving of a warm meal.

Upon entering you are greeted by a hostess. Just behind her you'll have a view of the bar or 'tavern' section. Although the tavern is meant for drinks it offers a dozen or more tables should you wish to dine as well. It is open a little later than the dinning room and also remains open during the setup period between lunch and dinner hours.

There is a long canvas painting of very vibrantly coloured fruits and vegetables that makes a dynamic mantelpiece for the elegant, wide stretching bar. The bar is stocked with hundreds of meticulously aligned bottles. Regardless of what a sight that was, it was the shinning brass of their ten or so beer taps that caught my eye first.

At exactly 12:01 nearly a dozen of clean, well groomed and sophisticatedly dressed servers came to line up in front of us in almost militaristic fashion. They stood up straight, ready for the days work. One by one they were personally assigned to greet and sit their patrons. I was shown to my table in the main dinning hall.

The dinning room is actually a collection of rooms cut up by large, high vaulting arched ceilings. Each seats approximately 15 tables, the restaurant is considerably large. The combination of soft lighting is just perfect. The decor of multi-toned booths, hardwood flooring and cherrywood chairs possesses the sort of suave charm and elegant interior you might expect from a restaurant in this area.

Before I could think too far into the contrast of fake plants and real artwork my server appeared immediately. One thing I must say about Gramercy Tavern is that (along with the food and drink) the service is fantastic. More than knowledgeable or polite, the most fitting word would be attentive. Better service would have been impossible.

What I love most is that Gramercy Tavern is committed to buying and serving locally produced organic food. The restaurant comes highly recommended by Slow Food USA. Their menu reflects that and changes with the weather, offering whatever is in season. While on the topic of food, I must say my meal there was one of the best (bar none) I've ever had...

Their tap selection is limited to around 10 with one cask. They do also offer a bottle menu, which if memory serves correct was around 20 or offerings stemming from a host of countries, covering a great range of styles even with the odd vintage. If vintages are your thing, take a gander at their phone-book sized directory of wine and spirits. Worth noting are 1977 Vintage Port and a 1922 Madeira.

Of course nothing in Manhattan is cheap, still my lunch was fairly expensive. That said, the quality of everything was outstanding and you can surely expect to get every penny's worth. The fact that I couldn't even finish my delicious dessert is testament to the fact that I may never have eaten and drank so well in my life.

biegaman, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Gramercy Tavern is perhaps the best restaurant in the United States that takes beer very seriously. Michelin star rated, their beer selection includes a 'vintage' section containing several vintages of Thomas Hardy's Ale and several others.

The staff and service are great, but the night my partner and I ate there (a Saturday night) we ended up educating the wait staff about their beer selection. They were happy to learn, but we were a little surprised that there was no one in the house that knew the beer selections they offered.

That said, Gramercy is still a must stop for food and beer aficionados, but keep in mind that this is one of the highest rated and most popular restaurants in New York City, so it's very, very expensive.

RedBeerchetta, Oct 25, 2008
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Gramercy Tavern in New York, NY
100 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.