Sun-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight
N, R at 23rd St.; 6 at 23rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
It's been said (and if it hasn't, then I'll go ahead and say it) that great chefs have many of the same qualities as great musicians. Both disciplines require virtuoso talent, a taste for performing under pressure, and an ability to process prodigious amounts of detail and technique in a unique and creative way. Many chefs, like many musicians, are card-carrying control freaks. Many chefs, like many musicians, keep erratic, unhealthy hours, have a taste for addictive substances (Bordeaux, pork fat, cocaine), and are prone to towering displays of temper. And like musicians, certain chefs are drawn, divalike, to the spotlight, while others are content to make their careers in the shadows, as proficient and talented sidemen. For the last decade or so, Michael Anthony has been one of the most influential sidemen around. He has worked at Daniel and at March, but he's best known for his collaboration with Dan Barber at Blue Hill, then, upstate, at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where he helped fashion an influential, aggressively seasonal, Slow Food style of cooking. Recently, however, Anthony took over the kitchen at Gramercy Tavern (he replaced the divalike Tom Colicchio), and now, for the first time, he is conducting his own show on a big-city stage. With its calibrated, Pottery Barn–style décor (twiggy flower arrangements; bright, Martha Stewart–type farmhouse murals; carefully stacked piles of wood along the walls), Gramercy Tavern has always been the most self-consciously twee of Danny Meyer's restaurants. In recent years, with Colicchio off starting restaurants and starring in a TV show, the cooking, especially in the main dining room, has been conspicuously adrift. But Anthony is an expert in the delicate arts of poaching and braising, and over the last several months, he has revamped the menu, filling it with subtle, slightly bucolic creations like lightly smoked lobster (decked with seasonal springtime ramps), crispy poached barnyard chicken, and delicious soups made with parsnips and strips of bacon or chunks of creamy heirloom cauliflower.Dining Room Hours
Mon.—Thu., noon—2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri., noon-2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
3-course dinner, $98
Vegetable tasting, six courses, $105; seasonal tasting, 6 courses, $120
Smoked trout, roast rack of pork and braised belly or braised lamb shoulder, warm chocolate bread pudding.