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Oct 26, 1999 01:47 PM

Gotham Bar & Grill

  • b

Last night my husband and I had what would have to be be considered a so-so dinner at Gotham Bar & Grill. The menu reads well but upon tasting, the food was not as interesting. Don't get me wrong, there were no major problems: both our entrees were properly cooked. It's just that the whole experience was, well, flat. Service was disinterested at best - we waited a good while until the waiter showed up, took a long time for the wine to arrive, that sort of thing. When we got the bill we felt ripped off: we did not order an extravagant wine ($39) but the tab (2 apps, 2 entrees, wine, no dessert or coffee) was $180 before tip. Clearly not value for money.

Question for others: is our experience typical or did we just hit the place on an off night? I would certainly never recommend it to anyone based on last night.

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  1. I would have to say that you were there on an off night, as you suggested. My husband and I have enjoyed many lunches and dinners at Gotham and your experience seems unique. The food is usually outstanding and never just okay. And the service has usually been quite good, as well.
    Regarding the bill, though, I wonder if someone might have made an error, either in entering the price of a dish or in the addition. Unless you had specials that weren’t listed on the menu, like foie gras appetizers and lobster main courses, they’d have to have been gold-leafed to justify the price you paid. Restaurant bills frequently have mistakes on them (even innocent ones) and we always try to remember to check them carefully.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dena
      Jessica Shatan

      G. Bar & Grill is one of those places that some swear by and some say, what's the big deal? I am in the latter category. I have had lunch there twice and was unimpressed. Nice food, nice place, slow slightly inattentive service ("can we PLEASE have some bread??). Not a big deal and overpriced for that. I would go back for dinner but NY is too big to give every place a chance!
      Re: bill--that sounds steep. My mother always taught me to add up the bill and I must say she does find mistakes! But do I ever do it--no.

      1. re: Jessica Shatan

        i agree with jessica. it's a nice place, but ordinary when it comes to the food, service is surprisingly lax for a place of this reputation and caliber, and there are so many other better places to go and try.

        1. re: wonki
          Judith Hancock

          I guess my reply agrees a bit with everyone - my husband and I ate at Gotham about a year ago. Unfortunately, I don't recall what he ate (he won't either, not being a chowhound) but he was unimpressed - I had lamb chops and a three kinds of lemon type dessert, however, and they were both teriffic. Our service was also very good. But what bugged me was the seating arrangement - unless they have changed it since, all the tables for two people seemed to be either close to the bar (where we dined) or near other less desirable spots (like the rest rooms or kitchen or a wait station) while the tables accommodating groups of four or more seemed to be better situated. The decor of the restaurant was lovely so we were struck by this oddity.

      2. re: Dena

        I've also had a number of excellent meals here and never a so-so one. I'm surprised to hear about the service, which to me has always been one of the Gotham's drawing cards: very attentive and very helpful in navigating the menu and wine list.

      3. I agree with Dena that there must have been a mistake on your bill. I've been to Gotham a few times and appetizers top out at about $20, entrees at about $36.
        I've never seen a caviar service offered and this is the only thing that could explain the tab. There is no way you could run up a $180 table with 2 apps, 2 entrees and a $39 bottle of wine.

        And yes, I do believe you went on an off night. Service has always been excellent, the waiters very helpful and well informed. I like Gotham's food better than most places, including Le Cirque. The only restaurants I feel that are consistently better are Daniel and Le Bernardin, both of which are more costly.

        I'm surprised that you didn't check your bill for mistakes when such a large number showed up. I find that almost always my tab for 2 at Gotham with each person having 3 courses + coffee and a resaonable bottle comes out between $180-$220 including tip.
        Sorry you had a bad experience, but I would give it a second chance.

        3 Replies
        1. re: algumby

          like aureole the food is tired they peaked years ago

          1. re: ap

            Omigod, you are so right. Aureole is my favorite food argument with my (chowhound) parents... they swear by Aureole and the lunch I had there was SOO disappointing.

            1. re: Jessica

              there r a few nyc restaurants who fit the bill /union sg ala zagat cafe is another example