Update: Gotham Bar and Grill permanently closed during the pandemic in March 2020. It was recently announced that this iconic institution would reopen under new ownership.
Gotham Bar and Grill is the perfect setting for a memorable celebration with family or friends.
We keep a shortlist of New York City restaurants that are perfect for special occasions. Even though we self-identify as adventurous foodies who love experimenting with new places and tastes, when we’re celebrating a special occasion with family or friends, we don’t want to run the risk of a disappointing meal. That’s when we invoke the shortlist.
Gotham Bar and Grill has made the cut because it’s exceptional in every way. We started celebrating birthdays here when our son was living a stone’s throw away at an NYU dorm in the West Village. Whenever we return, we are impressed with Gotham’s flawless execution of as-close-to-perfect-as-it-gets meals in terms of the food, service and ambiance. Although it’s no longer as convenient, we always leave wondering why we waited so long to return.
This time the occasion was bittersweet. Our son was moving to the West Coast and this was our last dinner together before he closed up his Manhattan apartment.
The dining room exudes “classic elegance” with an upscale but informal ambiance. Tables are nicely spaced on multiple levels so the room feels intimate but not crowded.
The room has lovely artwork (including an Andy Warhol near the entrance). This was the first time we noticed the beautiful garden just outside the floor-to-ceiling paned glass windows at the rear.
The warm colors and woods (taupe, tan, and mahogany) make the décor feel soothing, a respite from the busy city streets. There is plenty of comfortable banquette seating as well as round tables for celebratory groups. Playfully draped fabric covers the fixtures, softening the light and dampening the sounds of happy diners. The lively bar off to the left side doesn’t distract from the dining experience.
Gotham Bar and Grill has a wonderful “New American” menu with enough choices to please the palate of any food lover. Overseen by Executive Chef Alfred Portale, each dish is beautifully prepared, artfully presented and incorporates uber-fresh seasonal ingredients.
We ordered from the a la carte menu although an appealing fixed-price Taste of the Riviera summer menu with small plates was available that evening.
Each dish we ordered was not only delicious but also picture-worthy:
Gotham Bar and Grill: The Bottom Line
We’re crazy about this place! It’s not surprising that Gotham Bar and Grill has been a NYC landmark for more than 30 years. It’s had a Michelin star since 2006 and this year (2015), Zagat rated it the best American restaurant in NYC. We believe the secret to its longevity in a crowded field is its consistency. Every meal at Gotham is exquisite and well worth the splurge. Wish it were closer!
IF YOU GO
- If you go, order one of the perennial favorites such as the tuna tartare, seafood salad, New York strip, or Gotham Chocolate Cake.
- The three-course fixed-price lunch during NYC Restaurant week at $25 per person is an unbeatable bargain and a great opportunity to experience this New York legend.