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Apr 18, 2014
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By the Book: The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook

December 17th 03:12pm, 2013



For fans of Gramercy Tavern, Danny Meyer or famous restaurants in general, The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook is the book for you. With 200 photographs of sumptuous ingredients and dishes, this book is beautiful and extremely interesting.


Danny Meyer, mega-restaurateur and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group (and native St. Louisan), writes the introduction titled, “The Making of Gramercy Tavern.” Here, he details the history of Gramercy, including the process of opening it, the philosophies behind it, the highs and lows of being reviewed, and a rather frank and honest account of his drawn-out split with Gramercy’s executive chef and co-founder Tom Colicchio. Though lengthier than some restaurant cookbook introductions, this section was a true page-turner and my favorite part of the book.


The rest is a cookbook headed up by Gramercy executive chef Michael Anthony, who won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: New York City in 2012. Interspersed between recipes, which are arranged by season, are asides and first-person anecdotes from a variety of people who helped make Gramercy the restaurant it is, such as the muralist, the table decorator, the glass polisher, the beverage director and here, a two-page spread on the Greenmarket adventures of Modesto Batista, Gramercy’s chief steward (pictured above). This approach makes the book fun to read rather than just drool over, and it gives a comprehensive glimpse into the ins and outs of a fabled NYC restaurant.


Not all of the recipes in the book look difficult, but I would suggest trying them on the weekend rather than attempting to whip up something for dinner after work. You would eat late – really late. In addition to signature Gramercy dishes such as the Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Bacon Broth and Cornbread, there are also some recipes that never appear on the menu but are staff favorites such as Monkey Bread (pictured above).

For cookbook collectors, foodies and lovers of restaurant history, I recommend this gorgeous book without hesitation.

What restaurant would you love to see release a cookbook and why? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Lisa, whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won a copy of Edible Selby. Lisa, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew!



By Julie Cohen

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3 Responses to “By the Book: The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook”

  1. Joe Says:
    December 17th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I would like to read a book from Incanto, Chris Cosentino’s offal-centric restaurant in San Francisco. I would like to be more comfortable cooking the bits and pieces many avoid!

  2. Jeff Says:
    December 18th, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I would like to see Saison in San Francisco do a book……if you look at the menu and food, and know the story from Popup to Glory….it would be an interesting read. Take a look at the pix of the Ulterior Epicure on his visits.

  3. Hao Says:
    December 19th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Famous Szechuan Pavilion on Olive. She makes food like my mother does, only it tastes better. To know what ratio she uses before she retires back to china would be so delicious!

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