When you first walk into Gran Tivoli, located on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, you are immediately hit with the most charming ambience and friendly staff. Their dinner menu is delectable and they now open for Brunch as well.
During the world war, many fled from Italy to Australia to seek refuge and Australia was more than happy to take them in. This incorporated Italian cuisine with the ingredients available to them in their new land. This infusion turns out to be completely delicious and totally accessible to you if you live in NYC or plan to visit.
One of the things they are known for is The Gran Bread Basket and once you have it, you’ll know why. It’s not your usual bread, even in NYC. From Grilled Scallops to Calamari Fritti, Yellowfin Tuna Belly Tartare to Jonah Crab Meat and Claw, they have small antipasto plates for everyone, even those who are gluten-free. They are also famous for their incredible Lamb Chops. Grilled Colorado Long Bone-In, to be exact, that is marinated for 48 hours in wild garlic, anchovy, and Agrodolce Dressing (pictured).
If you’re a salad person (and who isn’t at some point), there’s a Calabrian Salt Baked Baby Beet Salad with Cashew Nut Cheese that is heavenly. Or a vegetable plate might be more to your liking?
Even a “normal” dish like steamed asparagus is turned into a work of art for your tastebuds with sweet and sour cashews and toasted caraway seeds.
Do you have a sweet tooth? Well, Gran Tivoli has you covered. Perhaps a raspberry and grappa tart with sweet cheese-vanilla mascarpone? OR a dark chocolate gelato affogato (which is also gluten-free) with chocolate shavings?
There are two bars (one upstairs and one downstairs) with a wine cellar and two sommeliers to boot! If you’re not sure what wine will go with what you order, they are more than happy to suggest something perfect, and they are right EVERY TIME. If you care to venture more into a cocktail, there are some tempting speciality cocktails like White Vermouth, Falernum, and sparkling wine (GT Spritz) or Peppi’s Amaro-Palooza (Peppi’s Amaro Blend, Lemon, Egg White, Orange), it’s like an adult orange creamsicle.
The atmosphere, friendly staff, incredible drinks, and superb dishes make for a great night out all on its own or perhaps an early dinner before heading uptown to a show or before heading out to see some local musicians who frequently perform all over the Lower East Side.