By Christopher A. Pape
For a restaurant critic or those truly passionate about food there are few restaurant concepts that excite. It basically boils down to the fact that we’ve seen everything before – haute Barnyard, rustic Italian, sublime Japanese and many others - all seem passé. Often I think to myself that if I see one more clever way to use foie gras I might just stop eating all together. But, I suppose that is an extreme measure, especially in the light of the recent opening of Gravy, a fabulous new restaurant in the Flatiron section of Manhattan serving up inspired and delicious Southern cuisine with a twist.
Gravy is the first New Southern restaurant in New York City. This delicious new cuisine draws inspiration from the traditional fares of such notable cities as New Orleans, Savannah and Charleston. Housed in a landmarked printing press building, the space boasts eighteen foot ceilings and original brick walls.
Recently colleagues and I had a lavish lunch here. And from start to finish, from first sip of drink to last spoonful of dessert we were impressed with the quality of the ingredients, the technique on display and the tastiness of the food. And we promised ourselves (and have followed up) that we would return for another meal.
What can be said about Southern cuisine that hasn’t already been said? Its richness is legendary and it is often considered the pride of American cooking. But for so long here in New York it was derided and underserved. Now with Gravy, New Yorkers can rejoice that we have a restaurant that caters to lovers of all things Southern.
We started with a Louisiana Crawfish Gumbo Fritter that was almost literally out-of-this world! Served with a tomato aioli it was crisp and meaty at the same time. We loved the succulent crawfish mixed with the slightly spicy aioli and we knew from this bite that we were in for a treat.
Other appetizers that appealed to us were the spinach crab dip and the blue crab bisque. The spinach crab dip was perfectly made and its sweetness rang true, but that bisque was really outstanding. Its velvety texture and depth of flavor were better than they ought to be and we were seen scraping the bottom of the bowl for the last spoonful of soup.
For the main dishes a standout was the Shrimp Po’ boy served with green apple, avocado and arugula. The sharpness of the apple melded perfectly with the butteriness of the avocado and the sweetness of the shrimp. It was a true home-run.
In the final analysis, Gravy is a restaurant that should be praised and I predict it’s here to stay for a long time. With excellent drinks, a homey décor, friendly wait staff and food that rocks, Gravy is an asset to the Flatiron community. And I urge you to try it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!