It’s getting late in the evening. She wants a salad, I want something
else – something light, not Italian. In a city of thousands of
restaurants, how is this a difficult decision? There’s probably ten
options just on our square block! We head over to a local tavern in
the Gramercy area, Pete’s Tavern. Pardon my opinion, but if you take
me to a tavern, I’m getting a burger and it better be good. Yet I
veered away from the burger.
We didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into, but we knew
that they had a wide variety of food, from burgers to chicken
sandwiches to Italian dishes to…DUCKLING SPRING ROLLS? Why would a
local tavern have duckling spring rolls on the menu? More on that
We started with the boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings, which were listed
on the Specials page, but are actually featured on most nights. Not a
bad start at a Tavern, right? What a shocker. Here’s the low down: The
breading on the chicken fingers was not too heavy, but it had this
Buffalo spice already mixed into it, giving it slight heat. Then there
was this kooky combination of a mild Asian-like sauce that contrasted
the Buffalo-style heat in an odd way, yet we thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’m going to be honest – if someone told me about that combo, I would
not try it. But I’m telling you: Try these wings.
To this day, I still can’t pinpoint the flavors, but they satisfied
our craving that night…and the next week! Continuing with our meal,
she got a Caesar salad, which she enjoyed (but could not take her mind
off of those wings) and I got the Duckling Spring Rolls
appetizer from the Specials page. I did my due diligence to see if
they were made in-house or if I was getting some frozen treat thrown
in an oven to reheat. To my surprise, they do make them in-house (and,
like the wings, they are available most nights, too). Sure enough,
they came out and had fresh shredded duck inside and a nice, thin
spring roll wrapper.
Again, I was shocked. I was also taken aback by the style in which
they cut them that took me back to my Four Seasons Hotel kitchen days;
ends cut off and cut through the middle on an angle. Pete’s, you’ve