Monday, June 4, 2012


This weekend I was in New York City. Friday night, friends had made reservations for us at Gotham Bar & Grill. I didn't really know much about the place and was a bit hesitant, because I usually like to make the reservations and know a bit about the food and the chef! But it didn't matter in the end, because the night and food ended up to being incredible.

The restaurant is lovely, a hot spot on a Friday night, bustling with energy and pumping out insanely beautiful and refined food. Gotham is somewhat of a legendary restaurant in NYC, opening there doors in 1984 - and still managing to be within the top 25 restaurants in the city each year! Run by Chef Alfred Portale, the restaurants boasts a "breathtaking large but warm and hospitable destination that matched the ambitious design with sophist acted food and service..." All is true about Gotham, with not a bad seat in the house! We sat in the window, looking out over the streets of Greenwich village.

Now, to the most important part...the food of course!

The night before my dad, sister and I enjoyed a "raw bar" - complete with oysters, shrimp & lobster. We decided to do that again at Gotham as the fresh seafood came highly recommended, and it was a great way to try a few dishes and start the meal off light. (Perfect for a late night dinner!)

We ordered the Mayan chilled shrimp cocktail (which tasted just buttery), West coast oysters - which were incredibly deep & meaty, perfectly accompanied by a tart & acidic champagne mignonette, and finally the scallops, which were truly the star of the meal.

The scallop dish was composed of two day boat sea scallops which were seared, with a caramelized crust accompanied by parsnips, sun chokes and baby binje potatoes with a brown butter emulsion. I truly have never had such well cooked scallops. They were just heavenly, and with my favourite of roasted parsnips and brown butter, how could it get any better?!

The mains were equally as wonderful. My dad had the crisp soft shell crabs which were fried and served with orzo, shaved summer vegetables and smoked red chile sauce verjus. The crab was crunchy and crispy without being oily! My sister enjoyed the free range roasted chicken which was plump with juice and covered with a golden brown crispy roast chicken skin. Served with braised artichokes, fava beans, hen of the woods mushrooms & israeli couscous - this chicken is not to be missed. I rarely order chicken when I go out, but this is somewhere that I wished I had!! I had the Branzino (an italian whitefish) that was grilled and served with arugula, grilled leeks & cerignola olives. A lovely dish but a touch too acidic for my liking. As you can see by the length of the descriptions, the dishes are quite complex. But Gotham manages to produce incredible flavours that not only shine through on their own but work as part of the "big picture."

The desserts ended the night off as the star of the show! We ordered two to share, and then Gotham sent one out on the house - which would have been my pick, and was definitely the best! My favourite of the three was "Gotham Black Forest." A chocolate creme, chocolate dacquoise, a chocolate shortbread crumbled and cherry balsamic and bing cherries with a cream-less mint ice cream. This composition of this dish was just incredible, and made me truly feel like I was in a forbidden forest of sorts. This & the scallops were probably two of the top five dishes I have indulged in all year.

The second desert was called, "Blueberry Cremeux," and was a local blueberry and corn cake served with a sweet corn ice cream. Incredibly earthy, with a perfectly feeling of farm to table. This dish is perfect for those who love fresh and local produce. A delicious corn cake which was not mealy in the slightest!

The final dessert was an affogato (which is a scoop of italian ice cream and then served table side by pouring a shot of espresso over top). The dish was jazzed up but I really can't remember with what because I was too into the cherries!

For a special meal Gotham is your spot. Romantic, fun, comforting, hospitable - they hit ever mark with ease! Thank you for wonderful meal!

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