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.

We stopped for a photo before entering.
gotham b&g 002 (480x313)

We were seated at a table on the little raised area in the back with this view.
gotham b&g 011 (480x176)

Linda and I started with glasses of Sandhi Chardonnay.
They were followed by a bottle of 2012 Merry Edwards “Coopersmith” Pinot Noir.
gotham b&g 009 (480x377)
This was good, of course, but I expect more from a Merry Edwards wine.

The bread basket was passed.
gotham b&g 007 (480x314)

Linda started with
Sweet Pea Tortellini
morel mushrooms, leeks, carrots, pancetta, parmesan
gotham b&g 014 (480x277)
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
gotham b&g 013 (480x196)
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
Seafood Salad
scallops, squid, spanish octopus, lobster, sweet shrimp, avocado, lemon vinaigrette
gotham b&g 016 (480x356)
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
Roast Squab
caramelized cipollini onions, kale sprouts, pancetta, fingerling potatoes, red wine madeira sauce
gotham b&g 019 (480x292)
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.

Gabriel had
Maine Lobster
chanterelle mushrooms, leeks, potato purée, corn velouté, lobster emulsion
gotham b&g 017 (678x900)
An excellent, extravagant, luscious dish for the birthday boy.

Luc and I had
Five Spice Duck
chinese broccoli, forbidden rice, enoki mushroom, snow pea, damson plum ginger emulsion
gotham b&g 020 (480x387)
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.


Linda’s dessert was vanilla and caramel ice cream
gotham b&g 033 (480x256)

Luc and Gabriel had
Gotham Chocolate Cake
served warm with salted almond ice cream.
gotham b&g 026 (480x385)
gotham b&g 027 (507x680)
Gabriel’s plate was appropriately decorated for his birthday.

My dessert was
Dulcey Chocolate Mousse
frog hollow farm apricots, praline hazelnut ice cream
gotham b&g 032 (480x215)
This was light and good, with well matched flavors. 

The mignardises were a little basket of warm financières.
gotham b&g 030 (480x292)
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.

5 Responses to “Gotham Bar & Grill, NYC 2”

  1. Ronald Shelp Says:

    We have always loved this restaurant Mike and are sure it was a special treat for your French guest. Never once been disappointed.


  2. Becky Coyne Says:

    Lovely birthday evening for Gabriel- a fine foursome deserves a terrific evening! Cheers!


  3. Blair ridder Says:

    2012 is regarded as a top vintage in the RRV and some have singled out Merry Edwards single vineyards from this year as her best.

    Perhaps this is inclusive of thier aging potential. I actually have a few bottles of this exact wine and will keep it in the cellars for a while in the hopes it will show better down the road.

  4. Sue Girdwood Says:

    Mike–This post reminds me of a dellghtful evening and most enjoyable meal at the Gotham Bar and Grill when I was your guest there many years. ago. It was the first time I had seen “stacked” food, which was for me the beginning of a vogue which I followed round the world. I remember enjoying the ambience and the sheer New York-ness of the restaurant. Thank you for then and thank you for bringing the memories back from all those uears ago!

  5. Stephen Says:

    I acquiesce to your comments on the food, but the room is simply too bright and distracting as is the noise. I cannot relax here.

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