Gramercy Tavern


27 Reviews
Gramercy TavernGramercy Tavern

Type: Bar, Eatery

42 E 20th St
New York, New York, 10003-1300
United States

(212) 477-0777 | map

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 48
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

My review of this restaurant could begin and end with "Get thee to Gramercy Tavern, man!" and it'd be quite correct. However, since this is a review and not a decree:

I was fortunate enough to find this place (via Beerfly!) when I was in New York and my friend and I braved the windy night and walked the few blocks to the establishment.

Once inside, we were greeted warmly and seated promptly. I immediately began scoping out the bar, and was rather stunned by the wine and spirit selection, to say nothing of the beer. The wine list is varied and immense, while the spirit selection is more reserved, yet well chosen. Likewise for the beer, on tap were Brooklyn Monster, Stone IPA, Stoudts Lady Scarlet, Rogue Uberfest Pils, and a few others. The bottled beer list had many "high end" beers: Rochefort 8, Westmalle Tripel, Chimay, Corsendonk Brown, Thomas Hardy, etc. Of particular interest was the vintage beer and cider list. Old Crustacean 98 - 2000, Brooklyn Chocolate from 2001, and Worldwide Stout were all there, plus some fascinating French ciders. In a word: Impressive.

There are actually two menus at Gramercy's, the "Tavern" and the main dining room. The tavern is around the bar, and is quite well decorated, impossibly clean, and well lit. We chose to eat there rather than the dining room. We sat at a small rough-hewn wood table and enjoyed some prosciutto wrapped oysters (which were excellent) and drank a few pints before ordering. The beer, needless to say, was all fresh and poured perfectly.

I ended up having sturgeon in a mushroom, bean and garlic sauce, and it was cooked superbly and the tastes blended wonderfully. It was presented well and the portions were sufficient. My buddy raved about his steak, which was admittedly very good. The service was flawless; waiters appeared out of thin air to fill our glasses as soon as they began to falter, and to serve more of the crusty bread and butter to our table. The staff was well dressed, but "real" and jovial. No snobbery here, which was quite refreshing. The bathrooms were decked with fresh flowers and had a fun, rustic look about them. In short, the atmosphere is upscale, but avoids being ostentatious.

I could go on, but really, I can't find anything to fault about our experience at the Tavern. It's not a beer bar, but I challenge you to find a better overall dining experience with a beer list equal to Gramercy's. Yes, it can get rather expensive quickly, but it remains the dining highlight of my New York trip and earns my unqualified recommendation. Go enjoy your evening there and marvel at one of the delights of the big city.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Spreetaper
4.14/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of eawolff99
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of Urk1127
3.98/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of JamFuel
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of neckbeardahab
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

the vintage beer is very well priced.

the off menu cheese burger is great.

77 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of misternebbie
2.48/5  rDev -45.6%

Photo of alucard
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of Rothobinide
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of rojapa
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of JoeMans
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Roze
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Ant4711
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Halfbrother83
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of SimcoeKid
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of richj1970
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of tainohawk
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.79/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

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!!

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Photo of jgasparine
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

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".

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 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.

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.

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

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!

 2,068 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Chris_Coughlin
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of drinker36
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

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:

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.

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Gramercy Tavern in New York, NY
4.56 out of 5 based on 48 ratings.
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