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Q & A with Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony

On the eve of Frank Bruni’s reconsideration of Gramercy Tavern post-Colicchio, I bring you the new chef in question: Michael Anthony.  Who knows what’s in the New York Times stars for Danny Meyer’s distinguished New American?  I doubt it will make it any less impossible to secure a reservation at the “Zagat’s most popular” restaurant in New York City.  Fresh from Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Daniel & March, Michael brings his delicate  sensibilities to the rustic barnyard fare.  Dishes like sturgeon washed in a lemon fennel sauce & succulent venison paired with onion marmalade humbly, unveil chef Anthony’s mastery of Gramercy’s kitchen. 


Engaged.  We are planning a wedding for this summer.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
You mean when I grow up?? A journalist.

How did you get into food?
Starvation and desperation got me into food.  I began to love eating and cooking only after I started to travel.  Friends in France and Japan introduced me to food cultures that really caught my attention.

What was your first job in food?
Line cook at Bistro Shima, a French-Japanese restaurant in Tokyo.

What was the impetus behind your move to Gramercy Tavern?
I began a conversation with Danny Meyer about a business plan that I had written. We quickly recognized that we shared many common goals.  When Danny suggested that I join the team at Gramercy Tavern, I felt thrilled to collaborate with such an outstanding group of people and excited that we could continue to break new ground in such a well established restaurant.

What’s your favorite dish on Gramercy’s menu?
Smoked Brook Trout with Sunchoke Puree and Pickled Onion Vinaigrette…(soft shell crabs are coming on strong though…)

What’s your least favorite dish (and yes, you must pick one)?
The filet of beef

What is your junk food of choice?
Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream!!

Other than your own, what’s your favorite restaurant in NYC?

What culinary trend do you most embrace?
Garden and orchard-driven menus.

What trend do you wish would die already?
Over-sized restaurants

What’s next on the horizon for you?  Any new ventures or restaurants in the works?  Spill the beans…
We are completely focused on making this restaurant better than ever:  evolving seasonal menus, staff training, a kids education program and recycling/composting program.

Until we eat again,
Restaurant Girl
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