Restaurant Week Reviews Part 2: Dinner at the Giorgio’s of Gramercy
Giorgio’s of Gramercy, on 21st street near Broadway, is a long, narrow and dimly lit affair, appointed in earth tones and decorated with somewhat disturbing abstract watercolors. The tables feature small tea light candles and white tablecloths, and curtains and beads hanging from the ceiling make the space cozy and warm.
The staff is pleasant, professional and removed; they do not hover too much, nor do they neglect. Kitchen sounds emanate from the back of the restaurant, and early in the evening (while I waited for my companion), the chef brought out a plate of the night’s special (fish in a spicy remoulade of some kind) for the staff to sample so they would know how to describe it later. When we were seated, we were treated to a plate of crispy bruchetta and offered beverages, the menus, and the wine list.
As we were there with a plan, we perused the regular menu briefly (the other options sound delicious and were very temptimg). For Restaurant Week, however, Giorgio’s Prix Fixe dinner menu was as follows:
Spicy Grilled Rosemary Shrimp;
Watermelon, Greek feta & basil;
Heirloom Tomatoes pignoli nut crostone.
Eggplant & Smoked Mozzarella Farroto tomato basil sauce, parmigiano bread crumbs;
Pan Fried Brook Trout wilted frisee, applewood bacon lardons, hard boiled egg.
Trio of Gelato and/or Sorbet warm fudge or white peach compote, chocolate chip tuile;
S’mores Bread Pudding caramel sauce, whipped cream, graham cracker.
I selected the tomato crostone, the eggplant farroto, and the s’mores bread pudding. The crostone was crisp, slightly oiled and light. The colorful heirloom tomatoes were sweet and ripe, roughly chopped and tossed with herbs and pine nuts– It was tasty but not very significantly different from the bruchetta set out earlier.
The eggplant and mozzarella farroto was a horse of a different color– absolutely delicious. The farro was al dente and toothsome, served in a creamy and smoky sauce (thanks to the smoked cheese), lightly crusted with bread crumbs and ladled into the center of a pool of marinara sauce. The smoked saltiness of the cheeses blended with smooth creamy eggplant, not bitter at all, perfectly ripe. The two sauces combined around the edges to provide a different flavor from the center of the dish, tangy and sweet tomato basil offsetting the smoked mozzarella.
The waiters gave me and my friend privacy to chat, and came around to ask how everything was at good intervals. We ordered dessert (the only course for which we ordered different options), and it arrived promptly. The bread pudding was plated very nicely, with a cinnamon-sugar dusted triangular graham cracker, a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, and an artful drizzle of sauce. The pudding itself was good, very chocolatey and rich, and pleasant. The traditional flavors worked well together, though next time I might opt for the gelato dessert just for a change of pace.
Overall, I would definately give Giorgio’s a solid 4 out of 5; everything was tasty-to-delicious, the service superb, and the interior pleasing. The prices for the standard menu fare were even rather comparable to the prixe fix options, and sounded good enough
Article Copyright © 2007 to d42