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BOP Restaurant Partner Spotlight: Gramercy Tavern

By Susannah Black
February 22, 2016

An Oystercentric Interview with Chef de Cuisine Howard Kalachnikoff

Gramercy Tavern is a partner of the BOP Shell Collection Program.

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Howard Kalachnikoff had known about oysters’ water filtration abilities even before getting involved in BOP, and he’e embraced being involved with the program.  Here, he shares his oyster wisdom with BOP Restaurant Relationship Coordinator Maddy Wachtel:

In our opinion, oysters are a quintessential New York ingredient. After all, in the 19th century New York Harbor had one of the largest natural populations of oysters in the world and New Yorkers consumed as many as a million local oysters a day. Are there any local ingredients you like to pair with oysters? Have you ever tried any traditional oyster recipes?

Yes, a local beer, wine, garlic scapes, vegetables, etc.

 

BOP Visits the Tavern

BOP Visits the Tavern

 

Have you ever tried any traditional/old school oyster recipes?

Oyster stew, oyster stuffing– and we serve roasted oysters here at Gramercy Tavern.

 

Do you have any favorite oyster bars in NYC?

Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village.

 

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We think it’s safe to say that there has been a rising popularity in eating oysters over the last 5 years or so. Any opinions about why this happened?

People’s tastes have changed and there’s greater awareness and information about local oysters now more than ever before. People are also just starting to realize how delicious they are!

 

Where do the oysters on the Gramercy Tavern menu come from and which is your favorite?

We get our oysters from Island Creek.

 

What is your favorite way to eat an oyster? (i.e. freshly shucked, roasted, w/ a special topping)

I LOVE our roasted oysters, no kidding.  Fire Roasted from Gramercy Tavern with brown butter, pickled garlic scapes and hot sauce.

 

What’s coming up for Gramercy Tavern? Any goals for 2016?

We’re going to keep researching NY cuisine, and continue to educate and engage our kitchen and service teams.

 

As a born and bred New Yorker, is there a specific way you like to connect with NY Harbor?

My son Henry loves going down to the harbor to look at the boats. We often hang out at Brooklyn Bridge Park and I’ve always loved to see the city from the Brooklyn side.

 

Lastly, any special tips or tricks to shucking an oyster?

Hold the oyster in your non-dominant hand, oyster knife in your dominant hand. Find the hinge of the oyster and pop it open with the tip of the knife.