Despite having already established itself as something of social institution among the DIFC post-work crowd, The Gramercy underwent a complete refurbishment a couple of months ago, and now returns with a refreshed look and zeal.
The renovated bar space has been opened up, making the perennially dicey walk back to your friends’ table balancing nine drinks (on whatever limbs you can spare) that much more manageable. And if loyal patrons don’t immediately recognise the change in décor, then they should notice the extra windows that have been added, giving the venue a substantial amount more natural light – no mean feat in the concrete jungle of DIFC.
The overhauled menu still remains refreshingly unpretentious, but there’s been a discernible improvement in the quality of the offerings, all at a hugely reasonable price. Usually we’d be mildly cynical about such an extensive food range in a non-specialist restaurant (having seen far too many places offering ‘multiple cuisines’ to various degrees of bad), but the standard across the board at the new-look Gramercy really is quite impressive.
While this new gastropub cum lounge bar feel means the upgraded venue defies easy categorisation, a great menu in and improved space, plus the new addition of live music means it remains a stronger version of what it always was – an eminently enjoyable spot to wind down at the end of the week. Or even half-way through it.
Pan Seared Sea Bass: At Dhs135 it’s one of the more expensive items on the menu (and really not pricey at all by Dubai standards) but if you fancy something healthy that’s a little more substantial than a salad, look no further. Every bit as good as the same dish we’ve had in some of the city’s recognised fish restaurants.
Ploughman’s Sandwich: Though the salad selection is excellent (with no fewer than six relatively original choices), if time isn’t on your hands and you’re after a quick bite, plump for this take on the British sarnie staple.
Deep Fried Brie: We’ll confess, deep fried cheese is usually not our bag here at Esquire, but whatever’s done here works a treat. Complimented nicely with raspberry coulis.