Veritas is very good. See how I try and use alliteration?
Actually, it is better than very good. It is great. Fabulous. We can't wait to return. The only thing I am upset about is that I have been living within two blocks of this marvelous place for almost three years now and have missed out on so many months of gastronomical delights.
Vertias is located right across from Gramercy Tavern on E. 20th Street, between Broadway and Park Ave. While Gramercy is big and showy, with a majestic facade, Veritas seems almost discreet by comparison and the sleek minimalist decor matches the relatively unobtrusive exterior.
Do not be fooled, though. The food inside is anything but. In fact, what finally spurred me to make a reservation and go was Anthony Bourdain's fawning raves over Vertias when it was headed up by Scott Bryan in Kitchen Confidential. I would venture to say it is his favorite restaurant to eat at when he's not on duty. The head chef at Veritas is now Grégory Pugin, formerly of the Four Seasons, and he seems to have assumed the mantel of his predecessor quite easily.
Adam Platt at New York Magazine touts Veritas at the city's original "wine geek club" and their wine list indeed feels like the telephone directory, except much cooler. And yet the staff at Veritas is equally at home discussing the wine selection with true connoisseurs who have a lot of money to spend, to the mildly wine savvy, to people like Vronsky and me, who, while we enjoy wine and have a loose idea of our likes and dislikes, are essentially wine yokels. They were neither condescending nor did they try and "sell up" when we asked them which of 3 possible wines they recommended. We went with a nice Chianti, Hannibal Lecter style.
Pet peeve: Vronsky and I were at the 21 Club for a work-related dinner, and when V asked the sommelier which of 2 wines he recommended, the sommelier immediately dismissed the two choices and pointed him towards a bottle that was easily twice as much. I highly doubt either of those two bottles V had in mind were crappy (nor were they cheap), and to blatantly up-sell like that, when we are clearly entertaining someone and already going to be dropping a fat wad, is consummately annoying, not to mention a bit insulting and rude. End rant.
This did not happen at Veritas, a HUGE signifier of their class and sensitivity to a wide range of palates and wallets. A big thing to consider these days.
Already impressed by the service, the only real thing we had to decide after that was whether we wanted the pre-fix, 3, 5, or 9 course tasting menu. (A la carté is available only at the bar) And to be perfectly frank, when I am at a place as incredible as this, I prefer to just bite the bullet and do the tasting menu, since that is what will most likely match and pair together the best and you get to see the full range of the chef's vision. V and I weren't there to save money, so the 5 course tasting menu it was.
It was absolutely divine, each course better than the next, and the portion size was perfect--you are not dreading dessert because you are worried are going to pop if you take one more bite. I won't rehash what we ate, because the tasting menus change with some frequency, and more importantly, I want you to go out and try it yourself! If you want to take me, I promise I won't embarrass you as I try and lick your plate just so I can savor every last drop of their delicious sauces.
See http://www.veritas-nyc.com/veritas.html for more details and reservation information.