Gotham Bar & Grill, NYC 2
July 21, 2015
Gotham Bar and Grill has been a steady fixture on the New York dining scene for over thirty years. It is very New York; that is why we select it for our guests. Fortunately the ambiance does not change much, but the menu is always promising. We have been many times, but I only put it on our blog once before, in 2007. (One time we were next to Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey as they quaffed martinis.) Linda and I went for dinner on July 15, 2015, with our young neighbors in France, Luc and Gabriel, to celebrate Gabriel’s 19th birthday.
Linda and I started with glasses of Sandhi Chardonnay.
They were followed by a bottle of 2012 Merry Edwards “Coopersmith” Pinot Noir.
This was good, of course, but I expect more from a Merry Edwards wine.
Linda started with
Sweet Pea Tortellini
morel mushrooms, leeks, carrots, pancetta, parmesan
From the “weekly market specials” of the menu: fresh tortellini were filled with peas; there were abundant fresh peas and pea shoots in the sauce. The meat stock-based sauce went well with the fresh vegetables. Very good.
Luc and Gabriel started with
Wild Striped Bass Ceviche
compressed pineapple, watermelon radish, ruby red grapefruit, avocado, grenada, chili, citrus
Luc said that the spicing was just right, enough to pep things up, but not to overshadow the fish, which had been tenderized by a mild citrus marinade. They enjoyed their first exposure to a ceviche.
I started, as I always do here, with
scallops, squid, spanish octopus, lobster, sweet shrimp, avocado, lemon vinaigrette
This used to be served as a molded cylinder, but the looser presentation took nothing away from the just right portion of lemon dressing, not too tart, which brought out the lovely flavors of the varied seafood and avocado chunks.
For her main course Linda had
caramelized cipollini onions, kale sprouts, pancetta, fingerling potatoes, red wine madeira sauce
The squab meat was flavorful, medium rare and nicely done, with crisp skin covered with madeira sauce poured on after the dish was served. The vegetables balanced the sauce and meat flavors very nicely. Excellent dish.
Luc and I had
Five Spice Duck
chinese broccoli, forbidden rice, enoki mushroom, snow pea, damson plum ginger emulsion
The generous portion of flavorful, pink duck breast had a crispy skin flavored with a fragrant Chinese five-spice rub. Underneath was a mound of black rice on a sweet and sour plum and ginger sauce. On the side was a pile of Chinese vegetables which cut the richness of the duck. This was a very successful dish, using Chinese ingredients, but not really being Chinese cuisine.
The mignardises were a little basket of warm financières.
We had a very good time and enjoyed the well-composed and well-executed cuisine. The service was good; the pace was slow, which was not a problem for us this evening; the noise level was quite high, as one can expect in a festive New York restaurant.
Eight years ago I wrote:
“In many ways this restaurant is fortunately twenty years behind the times. The portions are quite large by today’s standards. There isn’t even a small portion tasting menu offered. There is no amuse-gueule. While a few of the techniques have become popular recently, … most of the dishes might have been on the menu twenty years ago and probably were. The chef is the same. The décor is exactly the same.”
Well, there was a small tasting menu now, amusingly to us “A taste of the Riviera,” home to Gabriel and Luc. But what I wrote then is still essentially true now and I hope always will be.
To see our old blogpost on Gotham Bar & Grill click here.