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Gotham Bar and Grill Review

HungryRubia Jan 9, 2008 11:11 AM

I went to Gotham with coworkers last night for a goodbye party for one of our office mates.
First off let me say that I saw Alfred Portale in the restaurant last night. It was nice to see the chef there.
We got there quite a while before our reservation time and sat at the bar. The drinks were very well prepared and the bartender was very friendly.

Now on to dinner….unfortunately I work with people who are either very picky, or have some of the most unsophisticated palates in the world. I am not saying this out of snobbery because one of them honestly thinks that the Olive Garden makes very delicious and authentic Italian food and will only eat his steak well-done. The other one subsists on a steady diet of McDonald’s, pizza, and Popeye’s chicken and refuses to eat any type of cheese unless it is melted mozzarella…and only the supermarket block type…she thinks the fresh stuff is gross.
So as befits very picky people, they all ordered the same thing: steak. So although it was delicious, I was cheated out of trying a variety of entrees.
One normal dining companion ordered the scallop appetizer. I am not big on seafood (childhood trauma), but his scallops were delicious! They were raw and served with little cubes of avocado, coconut and lime juice and some watermelon radish with a mango and yellow pepper puree.
I ordered a salad and although simple (only greens and a vinaigrette), the greens were unbelievably fresh and the dressing was perfect.
For my entrée I took our waiter’s suggestion and had the Snake River Farms Pork. It was a very generous double cut bone-in pork chop and it was cooked perfectly. It was juicy and extremely flavorful and was seared beautifully on the outside. It arrived on a bed of parsnip puree that was also delicious and I wish there had been more of it. It was also accompanied by barley with figs and cranberries. That was amazing as well. The fennel reduction on the pork was very good too.
My companion’s New York steak was amazing (only person ordered it medium rare so hers was the one I tried). The bordelaise was perfect, but the onion rings were only ok. The batter was very overpowering and you could barely taste the onion underneath.
Dessert was very underwhelming. I ordered the Honey Crisp Apple Tart with a Cheddar Cheese crust and I was very disappointed. I love cheddar cheese on my apple pie, but the crust tasted burnt and it was a very unpleasant. There was also a brown butter walnut ice cream that I found to be way to sweet and cloying. The highlight was a little cup of pudding with a thin layer of apple gelatin and that was refreshing and delicious.
One of my companions had the S’more which consisted of a warm chocolate tart, with a graham cracker crust. This too was disappointing.
Overall the food was delicious and the service was attentive and friendly without being unprofessional. I would love to go back with a group that enjoys food a little more so that I can try other items on the menu.
One last thing….the crowd. If you had taken me there with a blindfold and then asked me to guess what part of Manhattan we were in based on the look of the crowd, I would have said Midtown or the Financial District. Everyone was in suits and looked like they were closing multimillion dollar deals. It was not what I was expecting at all.

Anyone else care to share their Gotham experiences?

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  1. fgf Jan 9, 2008 11:41 AM

    Good review. I enjoy solo dining at their bar but often find myself under-dressed for the room. Personally I don't care, but the ladies might.

    1. MMRuth Jan 9, 2008 11:51 AM

      Thanks for your report - one of the places we've not been to for years, and would like to try again.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth
        i
        idia Jan 9, 2008 12:13 PM

        I also had a very "up" experience and wouldn't hesitate to recommend the place. The ambience was appealing, the food -- delicious -- and the service attentive without being pretentious.
        I am curious though because we didn't order dessert -- is Portale also the dessert chef or is there someone else?

        1. re: idia
          HungryRubia Jan 9, 2008 12:26 PM

          There is a pastry chef, her name is Deborah Racicot. If my husband had been with me, I would have had a better grasp for the desserts since he routinely will order a MINIMUM of three desserts...the man has a ginormous seet tooth.

      2. m
        MichaelG Jan 9, 2008 01:15 PM

        I went there last year and had a similar scallop ceviche dish. I'm not that into ceviche, but it turned out to be one of the greatest, most delicate dishes I've ever experienced in my life. Very memorable!

        2 Replies
        1. re: MichaelG
          g
          gutreactions Jan 9, 2008 06:02 PM

          Gotham is one of the great ongoing success stories in the Big Apple restaurant scene, (not to compare totally) just as is Union Square Cafe...

          1. re: gutreactions
            t
            thegreekone Jan 9, 2008 06:40 PM

            Well put and I understand the comparison you are making.

        2. a
          addictedtolunch Jan 9, 2008 06:46 PM

          Above review says it all. Had the same experience, a completely satisfying one. And my allegiance to PL notwithstanding, the steak here is wonderful.

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