Sometimes you walk into a restaurant and immediately feel at home. That's how I feel about Giorgio’s of Gramercy at 27 E.21st between Park Ave. and Broadway.
I was first introduced to Giorgio's about a month ago by my friend, Michael. He's a regular at the place, so naturally, we were treated like family. He pretty much is. Of course, I let the maitre d', Sean, know about my gluten troubles. "No problem, I can point out what's safe, but Chef would be happy to make something just for you." Right then, I was smitten. A specially crafted meal catering to my needs is something I don't come by often. The result was a gorgeous piece of swordfish served with brussel sprouts sautéed in butter. I went from smitten to downright charmed. This was a place with some serious potential.
And I wasn't disappointed. Last night, I was supposed to meet Michael there again for dinner. I showed up first and settled myself somewhat shyly at the bar. I needn't have been shy. After calling Sean over to ask about the menu, he responded with, "Sure, I can show you what's gluten-free, but Chef would be happy to make you something again." Done. This time is was red snapper on heirloom tomato and steamed vegetables in fish broth. The food was, of course, delicious. I was even able to steal a taste (ok, I ended up eating a better part of it) of Michael's curried cauliflower. And when I told Sean to let Alex (Chef) know how much I appreciated the food, I mentioned the brussel sprouts from my first visit. He came back with a bowl of them for me. Did I mention I'm smitten?
Not only that, but Michael, Brian (the bartender), and I had some fun inventing drinks with a variety of bitters and spirits. Between the business of managing the restaurant, Sean came over to chat from time to time. He even offered to circulate my resume and keep an ear out for any restaurants that were hiring after I mentioned that I was looking for work. And before leaving for the evening, Alex stopped by to say goodnight. Of course I had to thank him again for the food.
Last week, I ran a piece about rudeness in restaurants, and Giorgio's is the antithesis of those places. They have a steady stream of regulars to attest to their hospitality. It's a place where you can walk in and instantly feel like you've come home. And I think I might have found a love that will last. With Giorgio’s of Gramercy.
(Photo courtesy of Shane Strassberg and Giorgio's of Gramercy's Facebook Page)