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The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook [Hardcover]

Michael Anthony , Dorothy Kalins
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

26 Nov 2013
One of the best New York restaurants, a culinary landmark that has been changing the face of American dining for decades, now shares its beloved recipes, stories, and pioneering philosophy.
Opened in 1994, Gramercy Tavern is more than just a restaurant. It has become a New York institution earning dozens of accolades, including six James Beard awards. Its impeccable, fiercely seasonal cooking, welcoming and convivial atmosphere, and steadfast commitment to hospitality are unparalleled. The restaurant has its own magic—a sense of community and generosity—that’s captured in these pages for everyone to bring home and savor through 125 recipes.
Restaurateur Danny Meyer’s intimate story of how Gramercy was born sets the stage for executive chef-partner Michael Anthony’s appealing approach to American cooking and recipes that highlight the bounty of the farmer’s market. With 200 sumptuous photographs and personal stories, The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook also gives an insider look into the things that make this establishment unique, from the artists who have shaped its décor and ambience, to the staff members who share what it is like to be a part of this close-knit restaurant family. Above all, food lovers will be inspired to make memorable meals and bring the warmth of Gramercy into their homes.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (26 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307888339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307888334
  • Product Dimensions: 28.6 x 24 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 25 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have the other books from Danny Meyer a world class restraunteur.This is a great read as well as a very good refference book it will be of interest to both pro,s and diners.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
63 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3-star restaurant. 4-star cookbook. But can you cook its recipes? I did. 29 Oct 2013
By Jesse Kornbluth - Published on
The new Zagat guide rates Gramercy Tavern as New York's second most popular restaurant.

It is, says Zagat, "about as perfect as a restaurant can get."

Gramercy Tavern has now produced its first cookbook.

I was invited to meet Michael Anthony, the restaurant's executive chef-partner, at a small lunch for food writers in a private dining room.

Who wouldn't go?

The menu was Red Kuri Squash Soup with Brussels Sprouts and Apples; Cauliflower with Quinoa, Prunes and Peanuts; Porgy with Spaghetti Squash and Sherry Sauce; and, for dessert, Peanut Butter Semifreddo with Chocolate Macaroon and Hot Fudge.

There were flowers on the table, with small vegetables --- artichokes, peppers and okra --- placed among them so cleverly that it took me two courses to notice. The service was swift, silent, impeccable, which I expected; what surprised me was that one of the staffers clearing our plates was the restaurant's managing partner.

Michael Anthony spoke briefly about the menu. The soup, he noted, was cooked in a single pot. The cauliflower was a separate course because he regarded vegetables as "shining stars." Porgy, he noted, was "a simple, inexpensive fish."

The idea, I gathered, was that these were dishes we could, using his cookbook, make at home.

With every blissful, three-star bite, I thought: Get real.

Michael Anthony is a boyish, unpretentious guy. On a quiz show, you'd never guess that in 2012 he won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in New York. His former employers in Paris include Jacques Cagna, Michel Guérard and L'Arpège. Before coming to Gramercy Tavern in 2006, he was executive chef of the celebrated Westchester restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Michael Anthony is nobody's idea of a home cook.

I said as much to Dorothy Kalins, godmother to first tier cookbook writers and producer of the Gramercy Tavern book.

Her response: "I knew you'd say that."

And she challenged me to cook a meal from the book.

This was a tougher assignment than I anticipated --- once I opened the book, I could not put it down, for in addition to the recipes, there is a text as thrilling as, well, a thriller. Gramercy Tavern is a Danny Meyer restaurant, which means that it is really a brilliant play in which the characters just happen to create and serve astonishing meals. You don't work here, you are cast. And to win your part, you need more than skills; personality and attitude are equally important. This is a team that assumes greatness as a baseline but aims much, much higher. It's not a spiritual quest, but it's close.

The book tells the history of the restaurant and profiles many of the people who work here. The stories inspire. Really, this book is a drug --- it gets you high and makes you dream.

Yes, but can you cook from it?

I put myself to the ultimate test: I invited two friends for a dinner at which I'd serve an entrée I'd never cooked before: Braised Lamb Shoulder with Broccoli Puree. The text described how Michael Anthony and his team prepare it. The labor is daunting, even for a restaurant staff. Then comes a simplified version for the home cook. I eliminated the broccoli puree and set to work. But it wasn't work. Braise meat. Chop vegetables. Cook in oven. Serve.

Our guests were two of our most sophisticated friends. She's a queen in her field, and just as talented in the kitchen; when she comes to dinner, she arrives bearing gifts like homemade compote or a bottle of vodka she's flavored with herbs from her garden. He's a prolific, distinguished writer and broadcaster, a talker who makes Bono sound inept; in his presence, my conversation is limited to provocative questions.

Dear readers, these titans were stupefied.

"I can think of four houses in this country where I have eaten this well," he said.

Here's the recipe, without the puree. See for yourself.

Braised Lamb Shoulder

Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 2-pound boneless lamb shoulder, tied or cut into large cubes
salt, pepper
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
½ tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup red wine
3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
5 cups chicken broth or water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large, heavy, ovenproof pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, add to the pot and brown well on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the meat to a platter.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add garlic, onion, shallots, carrots and celery to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute.

Add the wine and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the browned bits. Simmer until the wine is almost gone. Patience! This is the magic moment for flavor.

Return the lamb to the pot along with its accumulated juices. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and enough broth to almost cover the meat. Bring to a simmer over high heat, cover the pot and transfer it to the oven.

Cook, turning once about halfway through, until the lamb is very tender, 2 to 2 and ½ hours. Transfer the meat to a cutting board.

Pass the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a wide saucepan, pushing down on the solids with a spoon to extract every last bit of juice. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce until it has thickened. You should have about a cup of sauce; this can take 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the lamb shoulder whole or in pieces. Coat the meat with some of the reduced sauce and serve.

And swoon.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made Me Believe I Could Cook Like Michael 13 Nov 2013
By Mr. Ted Schachter - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First, let me say, that I am very biased towards Gramercy Tavern. I loved every single of the many meals I had there. The flavors, the choice of herbs, the meats, everything is pleasing to the eyes and the taste buds. As a man who considers making coffee in a French Press as "cooking" I bought the Gramercy Cookbook as a memoir more than a guide to meals I would create.
The first thing that impressed me about the book is that it has the quality of an Art Exhibition book. I could feel that no expense was spared; in photography, quality of paper, binding. This is not a book you want as an e-book. This is a book you want to hold. But, be careful, it is heavy. And that is a good thing, because it is filled with more than just recipes. There are photos of all the great people that have worked and continue to work at Gramercy Tavern. There is a detailed history this great restaurant. You will see how and where they source their ingredients. You will understand how Gramercy Tavern reflects Michael Anthony's dedication to food as a source for life and how this translates into his choices of ingredients based on quality and taste.
But, after reading the recipes in the book very carefully you will, as I have, start to believe that the meals can be recreated in your home.
Yes there are a lot of seafood recipes, but the Gramercy Tavern menu always had a lot of seafood items on their menu. This is a good thing. We should eat more seafood in more creative ways.
The desert recipes are amazing and having eaten most of them, having the recipe for them, brings me a few steps closer to enjoying them more often. At least that is the plan.
I could go on for ever on how much this book and this restaurant mean to me. If you want to learn about wonderful meals/recipes, that are clean, tasty and not the usual fare, this book will show you the way. If you want to learn about an amazing NYC restaurant that deserves your attention, this book is a great guide. If you want to look at amazing photos of great food, this book is a great visual experience.
Nothing about Gramercy Tavern the cookbook or the restaurant will disappoint.
24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great if you love fish/seafood. 11 Nov 2013
By amf0001 - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We don't have hundreds of cookbooks but we definitely have a few. We preordered this, having eaten the restaurant and loved it. We got this and Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna: Recipes from Cafe Sabarsky, Wallse, and Blaue Gans at around the same time. This is far more fish based, and my son, who doesn't like fish, was disappointed. He liked the Neue Cuisine better, but that might just be because it's food that is closer to home for him.

This has the standard beautiful photography but somehow wasn't as tempting as I would have hoped and I have not rushed out yet to make any of the recipes (and I don't just buy the books for looks normally, we cook from them.) It's divided into seasons, but even that didn't really work for me. We've eaten at Gramercy Tavern many times, it's always amazing, and I guess I was hoping this book would be more inspiring.

Edited to add: We've now made the Macadamia nut cookies, and the shoulder of lamb to great acclaim. My husband said that the lamb tasted exactly like it would have at the restaurant (high praise indeed!) the cookies had very expensive ingredients but were delicious. We are warming more towards the book...
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the restaurant which means it's great 17 Nov 2013
By ywnyny - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My husband and I are fortunate to eat at Gramercy Tavern a lot which also means we have eaten many times over many of the dishes in this book. We are happy to report that the recipes are easy, accurate and now allow us to nearly reproduce the delicious meals we've had over the years. What it cannot reproduce is the spectacular service you get when you dine at the restaurant. We have taken many friends and family to Gramercy Tavern and now they're all going to get the book too!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A generous opening of the kitchen. 22 Nov 2013
By Ms Cath Kerry - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's an excellent, very generous book. I am a chef and managed the recipes but as novice could be frustrated by the intensity of the production required.
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