Gramercy Tavern

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Gramercy TavernGramercy Tavern
BA SCORE
4.52/5
World-Class
50 Ratings
Gramercy TavernGramercy Tavern
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(212) 477-0777 | map
gramercytavern.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
28
Ratings:
50
pDev:
9.51%
 
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Ratings: 50 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.79/5  rDev +6%
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!!

 1,706 characters

Photo of slander
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Now that Mike & Davida have rescued us from the Black Forest, we're free to wander for a beer. Hey, you know where I've never been? That place in Gramercy, across the street from Silver Swan. Supposed to be a real upscale restaurant with a solid beer list, probably too nice for the likes of me, but we'll see, I suppose...
Yep, it's all that, with good taps, too. A dark wood arc bar with copper topped lamps against the far wall seats a dozen and a half. Wine, glassware and booze in units behind the bar on shelves and in cupboards. Wine units on shelving to both sides of the entranceway to rear dining room. Large front windows, vaulted ceiling with wood cross beams and spot lighting, brightly colored fruit, nut & vegetable themed painted murals above wrapping around the room, and pillars running to the ceiling covered with ivy and plants, and decorated with candles, pine cones and bird houses. An open kitchen counter with a wood oven in the near rear corner, plants and ceramic vessels in pieces on the rear wall, and a tree in a planter at the end of the bar. A dozen booths and tables scattered about the room, done with smart leather placemats.
7 taps across a single tower with a good focus on our local and regional breweries (Sixpoint Abigail, Brooklyn Scorcher, Heavyweight Stickenjab, Victory Prima Pils, Stoudts Weizen, DogFishHead 60 Minute IPA) and a lone import (Unibroue Ephemere Black Currant). Roughly 2 dozen bottles, including a few ciders and N/A's. The bottles are all imports, mostly Belgians (De Dolle Dulle Teve, Orval, Liefman's Goudenband, Hanssens Oude Gueuze, Westmalle Triple, Delirium Tremons, Corsendonk Brown, Chimay Blue, and a pair of Lindemans), plus a handful of Germans (Schneiderweisse Hefe, Aventinus), English (Harvey's Le Coq Imperial Extra '01, Sam Smith Nut Brown), and some random interesting imports (Sinebrychoff, Hitachino Nest, Traquair House Jacobite). They also have an extensive wine menu.
The service was cordial and pleasant. They kept filling those bowls of hot honey nuts (cashews & walnuts) on the bar, and the staff was well dressed in blue shirts and vests. Nicely upscale, but not pretentious.

On another visit, I found the tap selections to be of primarily the same local and regional focus (Sixpoint Apollo Wheat, Brooklyn Single Abbey, Captain Lawrence Imperial IPA, Ommegang Wit, Stoudts Pils) and a few beyonders (Sierra Nevada Schwartz, Red Hook Longhammer IPA).
Seems they’ve also added a “Vintage“ list (Victory Golden Monkey & Grand Cru ’03, Anchor OSA ’98, Brooklyn Monster ’01-’04 and Black Chocolate Stout ‘03, Rogue Old Crusty ’99-’00, Cave Aged Ommegang ’05, plus old JW Lees and Gales).
Caught a meal at the bar amidst the madness of the crowd there. I started with the seafood chowder (paired with a Sierra Nevada Schwartz), and she had the Calamari & Carrot salad (Brooklyn Abbey Single). Both were excellent. For entrees, I ordered the Soft Shell Crab with pickled rhubarb (Ommegang Wit) and she had the Bacon Wrapped Trout (Corsendonk Brown). Great meal, and they've certainly got the beer to compliment.

 3,107 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

If you are looking for a very high up scale food experience, or a real nice meal with somebody special, or if youre into spending some cash on some fine food and you want to enjoy a well chosen craft brew, this place will do the trick. Staff is top notch, beers were 7 on tap, 18 bottled, 5 NA, even a few ciders. The only food I enjoyed was a few cheeses at the bar and a pint of Maudite (yes a pint) for $7. A bargain. Classy crowd. Relaxed, comfortable athmosphere. Well appointed, multi room set up. I'll be back for a full meal on some sort of special occasion or romantic evening with the missus.

Not a place for a few pints with the guys while watching the Mets kick ass

 681 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.63/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Gramercy Tavern is, despite the use of the term "tavern", more of a restaurant. In fact, it is one of the most respected restaurants in Manhattan, which is quite a feat in and of itself - but it is also very well deserved! So, it may have been a tavern at one point in the long distant past, but it is certainly no longer just that.

That said, if you wander in off the street and you can find a seat at the bar you'll be privy to enjoy a wide selection of beers, including an entire page of vintage ales! And all at reasonable prices! --- Just don't expect that to happen. Well, at least not unless you've arrived at an off time. Reservations are hard to come by at the Gramercy, and people will gladly sit at the bar for their meal instead.

Moving forward, if you have the means (it's prix fixe... lunch is $55, dinner is $82) it may be one of the very best meals you've ever had. Try to get reservations early... and an early Saturday may work well.

The restaurant is superb in all respects. From the flower-filled semi-rustic-semi-modern dining room to the freshly washed hand towels awaiting you in the bathroom (it's very much like the Ralph Lauren showroom in some respects), the atmosphere is almost perfect (they cannot be responsible for the distraction caused by certain uncouth diners).

The food is what has been called "market-centric" cuisine, and it's fresh and brightly flavored home-style foods with a flair. The service is remarkably in-tune and quick, but never even remotely smothering. It's as if the servers (all of them) are constantly watching you out of the very very very corner of their eyes as the scurry about - and - snap of the fingers - they're there at the most opportune moment!

They are, of course, as familiar with beer as they are with wine, and they treat it with the same regard. You'll have no problem sinding suggestions on what might pair well with your meal - or even certain partts of your meal! And that brings me to the best part of the service. Perhaps you'll order a different beer to pair with each of your three servings. That might take some time to finish - especially if your table is having a lively conversation. But you'll never ber rushed!

Overall - brilliant!

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Photo of misternebbie
2.48/5  rDev -45.1%

Photo of jaydoc
4.56/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

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

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.75/5  rDev -17%

Photo of Sixpoint
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Undoubtedly, if you follow the food and restaurant scene in New York City, you have heard of this place. It consistently ranks as one of the top restaurants in the country.

Atmosphere? Stunning. Impeccably clean. Perfect unspoken symetry in the alignment of tables. Beautiful oak bar. Beautiful tin ceilings. Servers with perfect posture. Every little detail is on point.

Service? Exceptional. A team of servers and rounds of courses will make this an enjoyable experience. Suprise complimentary entrees make their way to your table as an enticing prelude to the main courses.

Selection? Pretty good. A definite emphasis on local and Belgian beers, and not a bad tap line in sight. Furthermore, like their food menu, the tap lines are constantly rotating, which makes it nice for their repeat customers as well.

The food? As we say in Brooklyn, fuggedaboutit. Even the sauteed vegetables I had were OUTSTANDING. Incredible meal. You have to taste it for yourself.

Value? A bit pricey? This is New York. You get what you pay for. Well, most of the time...

 1,069 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of SimcoeKid
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

All that I can say is if you are a beer lover anywhere near New York, then you have got to make a point of going, but make sure you dress nice. I made reservation as we were going to see a show later that evening and the entire experience was excellent. Upon entering, you get a nice view of the bar, which even before they started seating for dinner was already packed and for good reason. From the looks of them, a lot of suits and Wall Street types. Every one of the staff that we dealt with that night knew that we had theatre tickets and made every accommodation so that our experience was enjoyable and so that we finished in time for the show. We made our way to the bar and the bartender was very knowledgeable about the beers on the menu, he recommended 2 excellent beers to us, of which there were 8 on tap and 2 additional pages of bottled and vintage beers. The beers were $8 per pint. For the quality, I thought this was reasonable. Upon our table being ready, our waitress found us, took out drinks and had them added to our bill, no problem, no questions. The dinner was 3 courses for $82. The food was good but the service was exceptional. The wait staff answered all questions and made us feel welcome. Our waitress recommended a great beer to us to go with the dessert course.

Overall, I am not sure that I would make it one of my staple places to dine when in NYC, but I would definitely make it the standard for a before dinner/after dinner beer when in the city.

 1,485 characters

Photo of eawolff99
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of plaid75
3.86/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Upon entering the restaurant you are greeted by a hostess who will show you to the bar. As you approach you walk through the casual dining area that abutts the long L shaped wooden bar. To the right of the bar area is the main (and more formal) dining room.

The tap draft list feayured about seven or eight selection, including four or five New York State beers. There was a wide selection of booze and an extensive wine list to boot.

While I did not eat anything, the dishes being brought out looked tasty.

The decor was clasical, with a slightly urban twist. The wait and bar staff seemed professional and were in matching shirts and ties.

The downside was that my Brooklyn beer was nearly nine dollars with tax.

 718 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of jgasparine
4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

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!

 2,068 characters

Photo of jrancan
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

So this might be more of a fine dining establishment, but the small, yet well thought out beer selection is top notch. 7 taps with Stoudt's Pils, Rogue Amber, Hopdevil, Brooklyn Monster, and Maudite. Trappist bottles, as well as JW Lee's Harvest, Aventinus...all top of the line stuff. A bit pricey, with the drafts averaging $6 or $7 and my Harvest running $11.50.
Again, this is a premier restaurant that focuses on the food, but definitely doesn't skimp on the beer selection as too many other restaurants oftern do.

 520 characters

Photo of Urk1127
3.98/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Spreetaper
4.14/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Ant4711
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of Clembo1957
4.14/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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!)

 611 characters

Photo of Nickls
4.43/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

(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.

 1,361 characters

Photo of JoeMans
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of JamFuel
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

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Gramercy Tavern in New York, NY
Place rating: 4.52 out of 5 with 50 ratings