Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gramercy Grill

We had another groupon-like deal that was about to expire, so we decided to use it up by heading over to the Gramercy Grill.  With appetizers priced in the $10-15 range, and entrees mostly in the $20-30 range, we were expecting something fairly modern and upscale. However, the reality was something else entirely.

As you can see from the picture, the decor is very old and outdated, especially the carpet.  The overall feel is like that of a department store restaurant, with a decidedly older crowd occupying most of the tables.
Flowerbunny started with their hearts of romaine salad:
Hearts Of Romaine - Pancetta lardons, crispy capers, 
grana padano & roasted garlic shallot vinaigrette

This ended up being essentially a Caesar salad, with the capers taking the place of the anchovies.  The lettuce was not well coated with the dressing however, which is a pretty elementary mistake to make.  The end result seemed like what a poor home cook would produce if presented with those ingredients.

I had the beef carpaccio as my starter:

Beef Carpaccio - Truffle puree aioli, fried capers, 
shaved Parmesan & crostini

I'm a sucker for truffles, but couldn't really taste them here.  Also the Parmesan wasn't shaved, it was clearly grated, and given the odd clumping, I think it was probably from a container rather than freshly grated.  Despite those complaints, this dish was actually quite good, with the beef tasting quite fresh and tender.

For her main, my perpetual dining companion chose the duck:

 Seared Duck Breast Medallions - 
butternut squash croquette, pomegranate
reduction & cabernet jus

As you can see from the picture, that duck breast was cooked all the way through, which for both of us is way over cooked.  Akin to getting your steak well done.  This dish seemed to perpetuate the earlier feeling of catering to an older crowd, as perhaps a rare duck breast would be off putting to them.  Despite the overcooking, this dish wasn't a complete loss as combining the duck with some of the stewed grapes (or at least that's what they appeared to be) was decently tasty.  However, the vegetables were not at all seasoned, and quite bland.

I went with the dungeness crab penne:

 Dungeness Crab Penne - Enoki 
mushrooms, pancetta, grana padano
cheese & cream

This tasted pretty good, but the sauce was really thick rather than being creamy.  I also found a couple of pieces of shell and a bit of cartilage which I suppose confirms that the crab was fresh, but was also very off putting.

Overall Impressions:  I think the best way to describe the Gramercy Grill would be 'fine dining for old people.' The decor is old and outdated, and the food is, at times, prepared using poor technique.  Perhaps an older palate would find the food here acceptable, but for me, it was definitely not worth the price they were charging.

Gramercy Grill
2685 Arbutus St
Vancouver, BC
Gramercy Grill on Urbanspoon

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