Gramercy Terrace

I’ve been curious about the terrace atop the Gramercy Park Hotel for years! My friend Nora tried to take me there once for drinks, just after we moved here, but it was open to hotel guests only at the time. So I was excited to learn last month that, on May 18, they re-opened a newly renovated roof terrace for daily breakfast and lunch. Like Maialino–the wonderful Roman-style trattoria downstairs–Gramercy Terrace is run by Danny Meyer’s hospitality group; and honestly, that man can do no wrong. (Cf: Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Untitled, The Modern, Union Square Cafe… etc.)

I hadn’t needed to, but I made reservations for (gulp) 7:15am on Father’s Day.

As you exit the elevator, you’re flanked by works of Andy Warhol–Bob Colacello, Sylvester Stalone, Douglas Cramer, and others–and faced with views of the city’s water towers and, occasionally, the campaniles that disguise them. It’s a gorgeous space, one that cries for a candle-lit party and which was filled with grey morning light when we arrived. Apparently the roof’s panes slide open (or will, after some repairs) on sunny days, which would be wonderful.

We were there during breakfast (though brunch is offered on the weekends), and we had the option of ordering a la carte or picking and choosing from the continental breakfast set up by the bar. The menu is (not-surprisingly for a fancy hotel spot) on the expensive side, so the continental breakfast (which offered things like peanut-butter milk, monkey bread, a cheese table, and fresh strawberries for your cereal–plus bottomless juice and Stumptown coffee) isn’t a bad deal at $19. We opted instead for their take on eggs benedict and a brioche French Toast. Both were delicious.

By the way, one of the hallmarks of a Danny Meyer restaurant is friendly, completely-accommodating service. Granted we had the place practically to ourselves, but everyone was so kind to Hudson–which goes a long way. In fact I noted there was a sitting room off the dining area playing cartoons for children. It was sort of a funny contrast: on one end you enter a room with a sofa backed by Damien Hirst’s Le Caprice (a large medicine cabinet filled with prescription drug packaging), on the other there was the opiate of the (wee) masses.


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