photo by Nicole Franzen
A year before Danny Meyer’s Union Square Café hit a decade in business, the restaurateur partnered with an enterprising young chef named Tom Colicchio to open this Flatiron treasure, quickly garnering national acclaim. Now celebrating its 20th year, the kitchen is helmed by Michael Anthony, who took the reins after Colicchio left in 2006 to focus on his Craft empire. Anthony has valiantly carried the New American torch, ushering in an era of euphoric greenmarket worship. Incorporating European and Japanese techniques, his plating displays a restrained beauty despite flavors that are candid and bold. Take the chef’s raw and roasted root vegetables, an array of carefully prepared and arranged vegetation splayed across a wooden board. By manipulating each vegetable in multiple ways, whether charred in the oven, served pickled or raw, Anthony makes the dish feel almost educational. Few chefs can so deftly express the nuances of a parsnip. Gramercy Tavern feels timeless, whether you’re digging into upscale pub grub in the tavern up front or exploring the tasting options in the back dining room.