The Upper East Side tends to be a bit of a warzone these days with the endless construction in preparation for a subway line with a questionable timeline. Nestled in among the madness is a quiet bar with speakeasy vibes, geared more towards a night cap and a late night bite then a post-work drink you probably needed four hours ago. The space is small but difficult to manage if there’s only one server (like there was on the night we went). The food is good and the drinks are well made, but the Gilroy lacks a certain level of pizzazz that I was expecting from such a cool looking spot. I kept waiting for the one thing that really tied it all together, the Lebowski rug, if you will, but I came to the conclusion that even without that missing piece, if you live on the Upper East Side, this is definitely a place to put into your rotation. The menu is short and sweet, with seasonal options as well as year-round staples, and does the job if you’re looking for a few things to share.
Here’s what we ate:
Burrata with Ramps
If there’s burrata on a menu, I’m going to order it. The sautéed ramps and honey put an innovative and seasonal spin on something pretty standard. I really enjoyed this.
These sliders were good and satisfied my burger craving, but nothing to really write home about. I’ll always eat anything with sriracha mayo, and these baby burgers were no exception.
Cast Iron Citrus Shrimp
Israeli couscous and roasted sunchokes made this the most interesting thing we ate at The Gilroy.
And to drink:
When Negroni’s have their own list on a menu, you should always make it a point to order one. This one did not disappoint. Crafted with White Pike Whisky, Lillet Blanc, and Suze (a French brand of bitters), it was potent and definitely took the edge off a long day.
Sermon on the Barrel
This was absolutely fantastic. Not for the faint of heart, this is a drink designed for whiskey lovers. Elijah Craig small batch bourbon alone will put hair on your chest, but combine that with Suze, Dubbonet Rouge (a type of wine drunk mainly as an aperitif), and Benedictine (an aged French liqueur) and you have yourself a five-alarm fire of a strong cocktail.