Well, HALLELUJAH. After 18 months down here, I can now say I've found TWO restaurants putting out high-caliber food that will get me back on a regular basis (the other is Aarzu)! I finally got to Grand Tavern last night thanks to friends who are fans, and I'm just thrilled...can you tell?
It happened to be the first night of their current menu, and because I want to do these dishes justice, I'm copying/pasting the descriptions from their website.
The three of us shared two apps:
Fried Octopus ($16)
fingerlings, aioli, smoked paprika, preserved lemon
House Corned Beef ($14)
pickles, pickled cabbage, dill, mustard, pumpernickel
I was back and forth about the veal vs. the lamb, and I chose right. Three words: TRY THE VEAL.
Veal Breast Marsala ($28)
balsamic cipollini onions, king trumpet mushrooms, celery root purée
My friends ordered:
Braised Lamb Shank ($34)
horseradish gremolata, white bean purée, radish
Boneless Pork Chop ($30)
spinach purée, potato bacon hash, shallot jam, jus
We all shared tastes, and if I had to rank them, I'd say the veal was the best, followed VERY closely by the pork chop (holy cr*p that spinach purée was INSANE), and then the lamb. I happen to love lamb, but thought it actually needed some more seasoning and even some salt--which is unusual for me. But the gremolata with it was stunning and the lamb was beyond tender, so it's not like it was bad...!
The cocktails have been calling me via the restaurant's Instagram account, and didn't disappoint. I went with the Old L.A., which is bourbon, grapefruit (!), and honey syrup. I maaaaay have had a second one.
Are the prices a bit higher here than at most places in the area? In some cases, yes...but I felt like everything I ate was worth the cost. The ingredients and the execution were just wonderful across the board.
Enough talk. GO. They don't take reservations, but they will hold a table if you call as you're headed over. Bar was full when we arrived around 7:30 last night and you can eat there as well--which is likely what I'll do when it's just me and I want that octopus again!