The Gramercy Tap’s creative menu and highly regarded chef have yet to give the eatery a real edge among many more impressive downtown dining options. On a corner near the busy Court Avenue District, the trendy restaurant occupies the street level of the Kirkwood Hotel. The two-story space features exposed ductwork, dark tables and chairs, upholstered booths, and floors that look like original terrazzo. The bar area accounts for one corner and pours 16 wines by the glass ($5 to $15), craft beer from local breweries and the usual specialty cocktails.
An appetizer of roasted dates stuffed with Maytag blue cheese and wrapped in bacon ($9) mixes salty, savory and sweet in a new way. Soups include tomato bisque and a New England clam chowder that tastes more tangy than rich. Steak, lamb, pasta and a good selection of sandwiches offset more unusual dishes like skate and char (entrees run $11 to $26). The wild mushroom ravioli in cream sauce topped with wilted frisee ($16) had an earthy flavor, and a New York strip ($24) accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and green beans proved safe but unremarkable. A la carte sides like roasted vegetables, risotto and polenta are available for $4 each.
Service is casual rather than attentive, occasionally bordering on indifferent. At these prices, we’d hoped for a little more.