I recently visited The Gilroy at the northwest corner of 81st and Second Avenue which has a great classic 1920’s speakeasy feel–but I guarantee that you do not have to give in a secret password like was shown in several Three Stooges episodes and countless gangster flicks, LOL!
Besides great eats–they have artisanal hard liquor and the mixed drink menu changes for every season. Their bartenders are truly master mixologists who invent drinks that are like no others you can purchase even at Manhattan’s most chi chi night spots. I can’t believe that they had drinks made with woodsy vinegar mixed with other spirits. You haven’t lived until you’ve asked the bartender to make something with “woodsy vinegar” s be sure to spring the $15 bucks on your next trip to the Upper East Side. They also specialize in Negroni drinks, so if you like your booze bitter, check out the huge selection! If you like gingery drinks, check out their most famous drink, Irish Penicillin–it has a very unique kick!
As far as food goes, yes, you can get those most coveted of cocktail foods–oysters. They are a reasonable $1.50 each and the ones available the night I visited where freshly culled from The Hamptons. (Fresh is where it’s at when it comes to The Gilroy!)
In my opinion, their strong suits are their flatbreads, in particular the Wild Mushroom Flatbread, which had beautiful fresh shallots and mini wild mushrooms heavily laced with ultra fresh goat cheese. The bread itself has a bit of what I call a “bite back”–it has a heavenly “pull” when you bite into it like a classic piece of old school NYC pizza! There is also a masterful Prosciutto Flatbread Sandwich that featured an assortment of cheeses including both Gruyere.
The Angus Sliders are a crowd favorite, not surprisingly. The patties were thick and tender–probably 2 1/2 inches tall–and laid out on thick, super-fresh brioche style buns. I think I could live on these burgers; they are a super-filling and satisfying option at The Gilroy. They had that slight mineral taste that I love!
For dessert, we had the Warm Chocolate Brownie which is topped with melted homemade peanut butter sauce and classic French style square marshmallows that left the typical packaged kind in the dust. This is a dessert you won’t soon forget. I have never had melted peanut butter over a brownie but since having this dessert at Gilroy’s, it runs through my mind every night before going to bed!
The prices at Gilroy’s are moderate–for instance a flatbread runs $13 to $14 but the portion is large and enough to fill up too people as a drink time snack or even dinner. The atmosphere is fun but it is very dark and there is the ambiance of a cocktail lounge. The clientele is on the young side but that is a sign of a place being alive and kicking.
I live only five blocks away so I will be running by and sneaking peeks at their ever changing menu. Yorkville needs a place like this that stands out from other bars and restaurants in terms of both their fun and creativity factors. Service is attentive and you can ask that food be tailored to your dietary needs. There are already several gluten-free options on the menu, including gluten-free flatbreads!
For part of the year, they serve dishes featuring homemade fennel-laced sausages that have gotten a lot of raves on Yelp! I must check those out before I die, LOL!
For more info, go to http:///www.thegilroynyc.com. Their big announcement is that they will start serve brunch soon, so be sure to keep checking their website or write to email@example.com. Reservations are not necessary but are suggested because The Gilroy tends to be crowded during the 7:30 to 9:30 late dinner crowd “time”–an added bonus is that it is opened to 4 AM everyday so you now have a place that will give you great eats and grog during “downtown hours”!