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Gramercy Tavern, Gramercy

New York City, New York, United States, North America: Gramercy Tavern
42 East 20th Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 477 0777
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Before Tom Colicchio hosted Top Chef, he was cooking bold and creative New American food at Gramercy Tavern, the place that took the starch out of New York fine dining and became one of the city's best-loved restaurants. Colicchio exited in 2006, but executive chef Michael Anthony, previously with Blue Hill at Stone Barns, has taken the helm of this dual-personality establishment (raucous and no-reservations in the front; more sedate, with white tablecloths and prix-fixe menus, in the back) and continues to put out seasonal dishes with an emphasis on fresh, local vegetables and ingredients. Much of the fare is delicate and considered: A "risotto" made with farro grains and carrot juice, sprinkled with pine nuts and edamame; an "open" ravioli of tender crabmeat and herbs, surrounded by exquisite mussels removed from their shells. There are still a few choices that evoke the gusto of the Colicchio days, such as a massive meatball stuffed with fontina and served over a potato puree, its richness cut by a tart onion marmalade. As always, the service is precise and astute, but never stiff or pretentious. New Yorkers and foodies everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief.

Open Mondays through Fridays noon to 2 pm, Sunday through Thursdays 5:30 to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 5:30 to 11 pm.

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