Calling itself “An American Brasserie,” The Gramercy in Yorktown Heights is bringing new energy to the area’s restaurant scene with an inventive menu, great craft cocktails, and a stunning interior.
Executive Chef Matthew Walker terms the restaurant “a little bit of Manhattan in Northern Westchester.” A Culinary Institute of America graduate, Walker says his food is influenced by his upbringing — his family is from the South and he comes from a long line of farmers. “So, I have a strong background in American farm-to-table cooking,” he says. His Southern heritage is evident in such selections as hush puppy crab cakes and Kentucky Vegetable Burgoo.
The farm background comes through in dishes like heritage Amish chicken and a Berkshire pork chop, served with seasonal vegetables. “We’re trying to get as much of our menu items as locally as possible,” Walker says. The pork is from Hemlock Hill Farm in Cortlandt Manor and the striped bass hails from Cabbage Hill Farm in Mount Kisco. He notes that The Gramercy’s produce is from farms within a 100-mile radius. “It’s important to be environmentally kind and to keep a low carbon footprint.”
A number of classic Italian dishes, such as San Marzano lasagna for two and a bucatini cacio e pepe, are a nod to one of the owners, Ray Ahmetaj, who has 27 years in the restaurant business at Italian restaurants in the Bronx and Westchester. And, as befitting a brasserie, “We also have French-influenced dishes,” Ahmetaj notes.
We dined on a delicious beet-and-carrot salad with Humboldt Fog Bleu, a hamburger fit for a king, and rich mushroom ravioli Walker says is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. “It’s ever-changing,” he notes, depending on the mushrooms that are in season. The King Louis XIV Burger, with a dry-aged special beef blend, was excellent. To end the meal we shared a perfect crème brulee with Grand Marnier.
Beyond the food, the atmosphere at The Gramercy is conducive to all types of evenings out. There’s a lounge area in the front that has a great vibe with leather couches, TVs tucked into cabinetry, and a witty selection of books if you choose to read. The bar has a strong selection of wine and beer, plus cocktails such as La Dame Blanch with gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, egg white and simple syrup. The Gramercy seats 100, and diners will want to linger in the beautifully designed dining room. There’s banquette seating, well spread-out tables, and attention to detail with artfully placed columns and modern lighting.
The Gramercy is currently serving lunch and dinner with brunch to come.
345 Kear St
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