Gramercy Tavern

42 East 20th Street

Gramercy Tavern in the Flatiron District can fairly be described as a New York institution. When the restaurant opened in 1994, Tom Colicchio, who has gone on to fame as much as a television chef as one who cooks in his kitchens, presided over the restaurant. In 2006, he passed the reins to Michael Anthony. Gramercy Tavern is actually two restaurants in one. The Tavern, in the front, is a lively, buzzy space where the menu is à la carte; the more formal Dining Room, in the rear of the restaurant, also has an à la carte menu—as well as prix fixe and tasting ones—at lunch, though only set menus at dinner, when a three-course version is $129 and a seasonal tasting one is $179. The vegetable tasting menu at dinner, for $159, is perhaps among the most gourmet vegetarian meals anyone will ever experience. (All prices include gratuities.) The dishes in both spaces could be described as American comfort food elevated with some gourmet touches. You can expect fresh produce to be emphasized in plates like the duck meatloaf and the cobblers and pies—the restaurant is known for its desserts.

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